Monday, 14 February 2011
[ALBUM REVIEW] Todesweihe - Necronomicon Ex Mortis
1. In den Nachthimmeln Transilvaniens
2. Tränen des Dionysos
3. Mit einem Herzen voller Verachtung
5. Das Sterben
6. Return of the Necromancer
7. Nacht des Werwolfes
8. Das Schloss
9. As Flittermice as Satans Spys
10. Mit einem Herzen voller Verachtung (live)
11. In den Nachthimmeln Transilvaniens (live)
12. VON (live)
13. Nacht des Werwolfes (live)
Every genre of metal has its own group of wide-eyed imitators aiming to recapture the sound of their heroes, it's part and parcel in the process of evolution within a given genre. On one hand you have the bands who bring new concepts and elements to the traditional sound, and then on the flip side, you have bands who have no qualms replicating the sound of their idols note for note. Todesweihe sit firmly on the latter side of the coin, and having read that they've previously played with Warloghe and Inquisition, two fairly reputable bands, first impressions were positive. But it's all downhill from here.
From the 'I'm too lazy to come up with an original cover so I'll just use the old faithful Gustav Dore' option to possibly the second most covered Darkthrone song ever, everything about Necronomicon Ex Mortis (or rather the sound of Todesweihe as a whole as this is a compilation) is amateur, derivative and downright tedious. Refraining from just pressing the stop button as I sat through this was frustrating to say the least.
Necronomicon Ex Mortis is a compilation of their second demo, Nachtmahre, their EP and a bunch of live tracks, but reviewing them separately would be fairly redundant as each song is equally as excruciating as the next. The vocalist does his best to capture Nocturno Culto's ice cold rasp and it does come slightly close but lacks in delivery and no amount of reverb will mask that. It's the best aspect of this release, but when placed against the guitar work and drumming, that's not saying a lot at all. The riffing is insipid and just flat out weak, following the three chord tremolo pattern but containing no discernible qualities whatsoever, none of Darkthrone's signature 'cold' sound or catchy riffing. For the most part it sounds like a couple of kids in their garage miserably attempting the “Transylvanian Hunger” riff over and over again. The drumming is no better either, haphazard, sloppy and lacking any sort of variation or timing whatsoever, anymore and I'd be wasting my breath.
The two EP tracks off the Nachts am Alten Friedhof release are of better quality than the rest, only marginally though, and are what save this release from getting an embarrassing score altogether. Whenever Todesweihe slow things down, they are actually surprisingly listenable. The guitar tone has some muscle to it and the music doesn't sound like a washing machine stuck on spin. Unfortunately this is only present on the two EP tracks. As for the live tracks tacked on at the end, they aren't even worth discussing at all. I guess if you're a completist they might be of some value.
Todesweihe may need to reconsider their vision of what they want to be if they're to make any sort of an impact, because as a Darkthrone clone, it doesn't work. There are much better bands out there who do it so much more effectively. They need to find the appropriate balance between their infatuation with Darkthrone and some distinct element to set them apart from the others. At the end of the day this is all demo material, so the shoddy production can slide, but it's still no excuse for crap music.
Darker than Black"