|Death Metal, Grindcore
Dead Beat Media
December 4th, 2012
Release length: 29:24
Well, one thing that lives up to the expectations if how tight the performances sound due to the production. The snares of the drum kit have a dominating snap that tears through the mix at a deeper tone, and the bass kicks have a mix between a click and thud that sounds good with the open background approach being taken. Finally there’s the cymbals, which sound pretty good for their purpose on this album, which doesn’t often seem to be much. The guitars have a thick buzz to them that varies between deeper and sharper chords, while the bass guitar ends up pretty loud, helping to ground the effort as much as possible. Then you have the guttural vocals that bring an intimidating, commanding approach to the music. There are some echo effects used in a very subtle manner, but it only helps to enrich the experience despite being so low and often hard to pick up on without looking for it.
It’s pretty obvious why the audio is the way it is. “Never Ending Nightmares” kicks in with a raw instrumental piece of haunting keyboards and b-movie sound effects such as chains crashing, and altered female singing. The piece builds a hopeless atmosphere akin to being trapped in a dungeoun before “The Eight Ice Narrakas” kicks in with a good deal of speed and intensity. The vocals here do seem deeper than on others, which helps to amplify the dismal environment. The moment the song starts, it goes right for the juggular, simply refusing to let up with some thrashy riffs layered over the Death Metal groove, giving it a bit of a Toxic Holocaust touch in some areas. Sadly, this shows from time to time, such as with “The Jenglot.” This is yet another strong track that hammers away at blistering speeds, and at its catchiest during the chorus. Other than being a sonic assault on the listener, there isn’t much else to say about this cut other than it ends too soon, leaving the listener with the feeling there should have been more, but it was still one hell of a ride well worth taking.
One of the issues with this album are the cymbals. It really doesn’t take long for you to realize that they are there simply to fill the music. “Black Oil Defiler (Orang Minyak)” is a violent assault that will easily get your blood pumping, but it’s almost impossible to ignore the simpler crashes that are laid against some technical, furious guitar work. This causes them to clash horribly with the guitars at times, coming off more like a restricted drum machine composition than anything else, which is sad given how natural the snares and kicks end up sounding. This becomes a bit of a trend through the album, especially during “The Eight Fire Narakas” and “Frozen Apparition.” But, “Retribution of the Polog” actually shows their potential well. The catchy, attitude driven track doesn’t try to hit you hard with brutality for the sake of being brutal, something that eats away at the variety expected of the release. On top of that, the atmosphere takes on a much colder, even grim setting that really does throw back to the instrumental introduction, and even the closing with “Pontianak Part II.”
Never Ending Nightmares has the potentil to be a truly dominating album, but ends up falling short. Under thirty minutes of Death Metal, you are greeted with one fast paced assault after another, and that becomes the problem. The cymbals aren’t all that great most of the time, and plenty of songs just start to sound similar after a while. There’s enough variety to keep you invested throughout, but more songs like “Retribution of the Polog” would really have helped make this an album you’ll come back to a lot more often. If you’re a fan of the man involved, Humanity Delete is still a sure bet. But, if you’re not too familiar with his work, it’s probably best to sample the album first, as it ends up more an aggressive flash in the pan that will ultimately find your interest fading quicker than you expected.
01. Never Ending Nightmares (Intro) – 1:27
02. The Eight Ice Narakas – 1:52
03. Black Oil Defiler (Orang Minyak) – 2:40
04. Necromantic Sorcery – 3:20
05. The Jenglot – 2:18
06. Dismal Corridors – 3:26
07. Resurrection Rites – 2:05
08. Retribution of the Polong – 2:53
09. Pontianak Part I – 1:41
10. The Eight Fire Narakas – 2:05
11. Frozen Apparition – 2:14
12. Pontianak Part II – 3:23
|Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10