Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Blasphemous Overlord - Embrace the Horror and Blasphemy

Blasphemous Overlord, with this release back in February, represents the lesser-known side of its sole member, Bob Macabre. Better known for his project Chainsaw Dissection, this man has probably individually produced more brutal death metal than anybody else on the planet. He has played black metal in some of his many many many solo projects, though, and this latest band is one of those cases.

The fact that this guy mostly does over-the-top, straight-forward, brutal material certainly comes through on this record. This music is blunt as hell. It's got all the ugly, nasty violence you could ask for in underground black metal. And the album cover looks pretty cool. Unfortunately, the music is so crushingly simplistic that even the amped-up levels of aggression can only carry it so far before stalling. The vocals are murky and over-saturated in reverb to the extent that they sound at times intentionally masked rather than enhanced by the effects, which is too bad because they seem like they would be solid on their own. The riffs are very basic and redundant, and the programmed drums are about as one-dimensional as they could possibly be.

Note the fact that I never used the word "bad". None of the individual elements are outright bad, per se. But they are all extremely simplified, and taken as a whole they result in music that just doesn't have enough creativity or complexity to really be interesting. I think the insanely prodigious amount of music Mr. Macabre has produced over the past ten years or so has probably left him with few if any novel ideas left at this point, and the stripped-down product we have here sounds like a record that was likely slammed together as fast as possible. Even if there were any new ideas left I don't think there would have been time for them to take root and grow. Besides, his forte has always been in the goriest, most un-subtle end of slam, goregrind, and brutal death metal. Those are areas where blunt blasts of simplistic heaviness can thrive, but in black metal the edge just needs to be sharper than this.

Grade: C

The video won't embed, but here is a link.

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