January 11th, 2010
Release length: 55:14
Definitely not. Irremediable is an alright album, but in it’s own right it’s too atmospheric for it’s own good, and, unfortunately, shows plenty of common traits of a one man project as plenty of other efforts out there. Of course, one of the immediately redeemable factors about Irremediable is that the drumming sounds human and not a simple beat composed on a drum machine with sounds that are simply unrealistic and cut off. “Nocturnal Hunters” proves to be a great welcoming track into this album, and sets the tone nicely with a not-too-raw production quality that seems to put more attention on the keyboards then anything else, though all the music on here does a superb job of casting a fantastic atmosphere, though sometimes feels a little too fantastical and medievil as you reach the half way point’s random Burzum worship moment that feels more like an interlude track cut into the song, taking on a whole other music path with a sinister spoken word section stops and cuts into a guitar solo that sets up yet aother completely different interlude-sounding track that is only reminiscent of “Nocturnal Hunters” with the keyboards before finally going back into the music that set up the track. All of this can only be explained away as an attempt to focus solely on creating a very dark, medievil atmosphere to the recording, which it does, but it seems to forsake everything else about the recording other then a more underground second wave Black Metal musical approach. Of course, some of these little interludes in this track will make sense when you hit the next track “Ouverture (Instrumental)”, as these segments, especially the first, sound like they were extra sections ripped from this track, as well as “Black Mass”, then stuck on “Nocturnal Hunters” for no real reason whatsoever.
Unfortunately, this is the general pace of the entire album. The actual Black Metal music that is played is not that bad, but at the same time it’s often not that good. Much of it goes at a generally slow pace, with exception to some songs such as “The Invocation of Hecate”, using plenty of chords meant to set up an atmosphere, whether it is dark and sinister, fantastical, or overall brooding, but much of those sections seem to give way to little interludes that cause conflicts with the tracks themselves and take them in whole other directions. Of course, with these changes in music and moments that feel more like narration then an actual vocal performance, as well as many of the songs bleeding into one another when finished and the next begins, Irremediable retains a conceptual quality, and while it’s not bad, it’s just executed in a migraine-enducing manner.
The title track, “Irremediable”, brings a little more variety to the mix by coming off more as an Orchestral Black Metal track thanks to the operatic keyboards and female vocals in the background. But, this track also gives the oddest element to the recording, as around the two, two and a half minute point of the track, there are some odd falsetto’s that happen in the background, like an unenthusiastic mock-King Diamond vocal approach that are simply hysterical. Of course, this part of the song is the chorus, so you get to hear them stick out like sore thumbs again around the five minute mark. These vocals appear a little more prominantly in the closing track, “Bukovina”, and they sound a little stronger, though not by much and can be quite comical at times, and fit the music much better in the long run.
Irremediable isn’t necessarily a bad album, it’s just very boring and bland. This conceptual piece is nothing but slow, atmosphere-rich music in the vein of Burzum, but does manage to put together some good blood pumping Black Metal tracks that are broken up horribly by what feels like samples of other tracks at key points. This bring Al’ Hazred’s Conspiracy release pretty far down, especially when it becomes bland enough that you have to stand up and walk around mid-song so you don’t fall asleep, which is exactly what had to be done about five times for this review. There’s very little replay value to this recording, as there’s just nothing that special about it, but it does show some talent from Al’ Hazred no matter which way you look at it. With some tracks actually having decent music, it’s hard to say pass this one by, but for those who really enjoy his works, it may wind up being something worth giving more then just a passing glance.
01. Nocturnal Hunters – 5:58
02. Ouverture (Instrumental) – 1:38
03. Black Mass – 6:13
04. End of Religion – 4:56
05. Pentagram – 3:44
06. The Invocation of Hecate – 5:14
07. Irremediable – 7:01
08. The Hag – 4:29
09. Armageddon Broke – 5:17
10. A Dream of Fear – 5:51
11. Carpathian Sunset (Instrumental) – 1:04
12. Bukovina – 5:31
|Overall Score: 3.5/10