Recorded September–December 2002. Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Lazar at CDM Records, Moscow. All music written by Lazar. Ally lyrics by Herr Mathias Stalhammar. Layout and cover design by Lazar.
- Alex Duke—Vocals, conception
- Lazar—Guitars, bass
- A shred of me I cannot reach
- Newborn world
- Into mayhem
- A bleeding path
- Dreaming with the dead
- Human breed (ripped open to a new reality)
To be honest, I expected to dislike this more than I do. Mostly because of the artwork, I think. It strikes me of new age crystal shops that sell authentic native American dreamcatchers and terrible wolf t-shirts. They would have done themselves more of a favour if they had just taken the first image from Flickr’s Last 7 Days page.
The album opens, as many black metal albums do, with a short, spooky-sounding ‘atmospheric’ track. It made me think of that level in Call of Duty 4 when you’re a sniper in Pripyat. Then the album-proper kicks in and it’s nothing like the intro.
A lot of this album I found to be dark metal-by-numbers. Loud and fast means heavy… right? But before I could dismiss the album outright each track seems to surprise me with something that stands out:
- ‘A shred of me I cannot reach’ has a riff around 1′ 20″ that has an old-school feel.
- ‘Newborn world’ has a nice melodic intro and a really interesting, screeching Whammy-pedal heavy riff.
- ‘Into mayhem’ has a duelling melody played on two guitars between verses which adds interest.
- ‘A bleeding path’ has an arpeggio which changes the direction and feel of the song.
- ‘Dreaming with the dead’ has some echo-y, whining guitar riffs.
- ‘Human breed […]’ has a spooky, acoustic arpeggio. The title track was the best of the lot to my ears.
I really liked the singer’s/growler’s voice. He had a good tone, a nice timbre even if by the end of the album all the songs were beginning to sound the same.
This is definitely a band with potential, I just don’t think they’ve got there yet; at least, not on this release. Each song had an interesting moment or two but it just wasn’t enough for me.
Review score: 55%