Crystal Eyes, Xtreem Music (2013)
April 9th, 2012 / 2013
Release length: 30:13
…Bless You All may have just recently been released, but this really does sound like a product of the mid-nineties. The audio has some modern day digital trait to it, but yet still has a restraining thickness to it similar to albums of that time period. The guitars have a lower distortion at work that ends up rather flat. Meanwhile, the bass guitar ends up having its twanging presence that sounds good, but far better during the very rare Progressive Metal-areas such as “Coltan” offers. The drumming has some tight, hollow snares at work, giving things a bit of a raw touch next to the not-so-crisp, slightly washed out cymbals, as well as the deeper thud of the bass kicks. There also are some keyboards present, but even they end up dull. The vocals show a great deal of range, going from deep gutturals that tread into pig squeel territory, as well as sickening rhaspy screams.
While the impact from the audio isn’t that great, the songs themselves seem like they can be pretty good given the right production. “End of the Wicked” starts out with a crisp keyboard introduction that is a bit ominous, switching into a chugging performance that ends up a bit thin. The vocals do save it a bit, layering the gutturals and rhasps together, and some chords show a hint of Black Metal influence that tries weaving a grim atmosphre. “Dark Side of the Desmodronic Pantheon” shares this kind of Black Metal touch, but with additional technicality in the timing. The blackened riffs are well executed, and even sound a little sharper compared to other tracks. This works out great, but due to the twangy bass guitar, some areas can end up a bit empty. “Coltan” doesn’t really feature that blackened influence, instead focuses more on Death Metal. Some bridges end up with a very upbeat Groove Metal style that seems out of place, shifting into more of a Progressive Metal chorus that keeps that lighter sound, but is much heavier in comparison. While mixing hooks with madness, this track just isn’t all that great aside what the bass guitar offers.
Finally, we’re given two songs re-recorded from 2011, and were originally released on the band’s 2009 self-released full-length album, Mater Tenebrarum, and it’s pretty obvious. “Evil Fuels” isn’t all that different from what you heard, but the energy by everyone involved really sticks out, and the lead chords are a lot sharper. Again, technicality really plays a role here. Some passages exploding with grim rhythms or intense atmospheres. This pales in comparison to “Moebyus Syndrome” though. Starting off with a shotgun cocked and fired, we’re met with some two-stepping early Thrash influence, and solid transitions throughout between that approach, and highly atmospheric music like nothing else on this release, taking full advantage of the vocal range presented. The audio sounds a bit different, much like “Evil Fuels,” and, for the most part, the music is pretty crisp and, at times, far more rich.
There is a reissue of this album being handled by Xtreem Music for 2013. There isn’t anything new about this pressing at all, sadly. This is clearly just the initial pressing released under a new label’s name for better distribution. Given this release is only about thirty minutes long, it would have been nice if there was a new song recorded, a few live cuts, or even one or two songs from Gloom‘s debut full-length album added as bonus materal, especially considering it was an independent release from back in 2009. Yes, “Evil Fuels” and “Moebyus Sindrome” are both off that album, just re-recorded, but it would have been a nice touch.
…Bless You All ends up sounding rough to sit through thanks to the restrictive production, as well as if Gloom is trying to be many things at once. Between straight forward Death Metal, hints of Brutal Death Metal, Technical/Prigressive patches, and a random Black Metal influence, it’s hard to get a read on exactly what this band is trying to accomplish here. But, when they get it right, the experience is fantastic. “Dark Side of the Desmodronic Pantheon” and “Moebyus Syndrome” are easily the best tracks here, while the rest just end up kind of boring, though far from forgettable. Hopefully the band will continue to develop their sound, as it’s obvious that, with a crisper audio quality, the next effort could be something a lot more impressive..
01. End of the Wicked – 5:20
02. Coltan – 4:00
03. X way – 5:01
04. Dark Side of the Desmodronic Pantheon – 4:18
05. Dies Nefastus – 3:08
06. Evil Fuels (Re-recorded 2011) – 4:38
07. Moebyus Sindrome (Re-recorded 2011) – 3:48
|Initial Pressing Score: 6/10
2013 Reissue Score: 6/10