|Black Metal, Doom Metal
The End of Time Records, Quid Est Veritas Productions
January 19th, 2011
Release length: 51:20
One thing to note about this release right away is the audio quality. The album’s music sounds pretty heavy due to a deeper presence. The bass guitar itself is not the most vibrant here, being heard but not necessarily felt or loud enough to make a really strong impact, but that is also due to the fact that the guitars and drums are pretty bassey to begin with. The guitars still have that traditional Black Metal distortion to them, but cater more to a blunt sound then a sharper one, which is fine consider how it works with the others. The drums are rather interesting actually since the snares are pretty deep as well and give a strong bass sound that’s pretty loud whenever they are hit, and a nice click to the bass kicks that doesn’t go too far into the snare’s territory. The cymbols of course sound rather loud as well, and not necessarily in a low tone like the rest of the instruments here. This typically helps with the slower pace the band plays their material at, giving it more of a Doom Metal kind of vibe to it.
Right from the start, “Call of the Abyss” introduces you to the crawling pace of the album. The rhaspy traditional wailing vocals sound strong, and pretty disgusting as well with the gurgling sound emitted sometimes against the additional louder, shout-oriented vocals that accompany them throughout this track, as well as the rest of the album. Sadly, this song, nor do any others ever actually set up any kind of atmosphere, and while the music itself is actually really heavy, it doesn’t necessarily have that crushing atmosphere that the more Doom oriented pace of the album should have. Some of the faster tracks, like “Murderous Lust”, tend to have a stronger Black Metal presence all around, and despite the lack of atmosphere to them, these tracks really stand out more because the less crushing heaviness works with the more sinister sense of the music then the crawling, somewhat bludgeoning pace. Even the guitar solo to this track sounds great and helps it feel less drawn out then “Call of the Abyss” did largely due to that slower approach taken. This track is also where the album does start to pick up a little more as far as enjoyable material goes.
“Christ’s Incest” makes for one of the more enjoyable slower tracks on the track, blending together some additional deeper, somewhat guttural vocals against that dirty rhaspy approach that matches the trudging pace and heavier sound, and infact adding to the heaviness with it’s catchier guitar riffs bringing a little more energy to the mix, and riffs that feel rather crushing though they sound a little simpler then other songs. There is the title track “Subliminal Visions,” which really seems to stand out more due to it’s track length of over eleven and a half minutes. The song itself is not bad at all, shifting time to time from one sound to another, largely in the pace of the music and offering some slightly different riffs to accompany it that gives it enough of a change to make it sound different. The transitions here are not the greatest when need be, but the sudden jerk into another speed or sound here does feel more natural then through a build up or a random bridge that merges the two together somehow. Of course the song itself does build up as it goes along, though the main fault here is the lack of impact the cymbols from the drum kit make to the music as it nears the end and does reach a more “epic” sound then when it started, which includes some really loud guitars that almost completely drown the kit out. The same can be said for the following longer track “Infernal Hallucinations”, though the song feels a little more lighter musically then the heavier, burdening sound the other tracks have, and caters more to the Black Metal side of the band once again. Even “Everlasting War,” the final of the longer songs, proves to be a rather heavy effort by the band, again catering more to the group’s Blacker side, and with it comes some dark material, though some transitions in here feel forced as far as speed changes go, and end up as bad as the conclusion to “In a Mouth of Madness” which just cuts the vocals off completely before they have a chance to finish and conclude the song properly.
In the end, the faster, more Black Metal oriented material sounds the best, with the longer tracks offering more bang for your buck due to the considerable amount of changes in the song itself that often feel natural. Subliminal Visions is not the most awe-inspiring effort, but for a band’s debut, it’s mixture of catchy material at a Doom Metal pace while still working a Black Metal foundation does end up working out nicely most of the time. Yes, some songs like “In a Mouth of Madness” and even “Call of the Abyss” can become pretty boring, though not necessarily bland, just offering little to make the listener really want to come back to the tracks once all is said and done. But, Deep Desolation does bring in enough enjoyable tracks to this effort to make it worth checking out and even coming back to it in the future. To say this band stands out with this approach is pushing it a bit too far, the group does have some good ideas, they just need to really sit down and expand on them more.
01. Call of the Abyss – 4:53
02. Murderous Lust – 3:57
03. Mass Murderer’s Ejaculation – 4:29
04. Christ’s Incest – 5:04
05. Subliminal Visions – 11:37
06. Infernal Hallucinations – 7:35
07. In a Mouth of Madness – 5:24
08. Everlasting War – 8:21
|Overall Score: 6.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Quid Est Veritas Productions.