December Wolves - Blasterpiece Theatre
The Vitals: Searing riff mongery in the black metal vein without the silly gimmicks and face paint. Serious stuff that I can't really relate to another band! Full of steady fast drumming, satanic vocals and atmospheric samples [No symphony orchestra here] to make it a back to front listen.
This is the third full length release from U.S. Black Metallers December Wolves, and what an album!
On this record December Wolves started to dabble in sampling. The production is some of the best I have ever heard, on any album let alone Black Metal, with whirling double guitar lines, and a scorching hot 'In Your Face!' tone. The bass also has a really active tone, and with the new vocal effects in place [A new addition to the sound of the band.], mixed in with some extremely brutal drum programming [Which is always kept possible, I didn't even realise it was a drum machine until I read the sleeve.], the overall result is very industrial and extremely sonic. This really is an audio experience, a must hear experience for audiophiles.
It opens up with the sample only track 'Warning', which warns us of the onslaught of Black Metal that is to follow. Keeping in mind that each track on this record is blended into another by sampling, [Making this a front to back listen], 'Warning' kicks us off straight into 'Desperately Seeking Satan'. This is the epic of the album, coming in at over 6 minutes. In this song are present some of my favourite riffs ever, devilishly spiraling out of control into somewhat of an organised chaos of riff mongery. The song ends with some sampling from various obscure movies.
I won't go and review this track for track however, as this CD is consistent with it's theme. I guess this is where it may take a little required taste to enjoy this CD, as the songs are all in December Wolves trademark riff mania fashion. If you like the style, you'll love this album, as it relentlessly fires track after track of quick note by note riffing and devastating twists and turns.
As I mentioned the drums are programmed, but this is some of the best programming I have heard. The tone is perfect and crushing, while sounding real [unlike Fuck I'm Dead or Agoraphobic Nosebleed]. It also varies alot in pace during each song. No song really stays at the same pace, rather each having some long blasting, swapping to a thrash beat and slower doublebass propelled passages. However the beautifully programmed blasts really attract my attention, and to me the album is anywhere from mid paced to fast. The way the drums are mixed in is totally mondo aswell - most drum machines I hear sound like they aren't a part of the music, it sounds as if the guitars a playing along to a metronome. Not here. The drums blende in perfectly, and you'll soon forget it's a drum machine [if you realised it in the first place].
Lyrically the music feels very personal. Topics seem close to heart for the most part, with words about drugs, hateful relationships and social satire, aswell as your z-grade smut imagery here and there.
They end the record with a re-recording of their own song, their icon song "To Kill Without Emotion" [Renamed to 'To Kill... Again!' on this record] taken from their previous album "Completely Dehumanized". This time the song is much faster and catchier with added lyrics. A truly brutal way to end the album.
As of this writing I believe that this is December Wolves best album and if you like your black metal with something extra, this is for you.