Round two of Nothing but Black Metal November. I’m very thankful that there’s such an abundance of black metal being released on Bandcamp or this would be even more of a struggle. If only it were all quality I would be an extremely happy reviewer but nothing in life can really be that easy, can it? For today’s edition we’ll be talking about the latest from Blaze of Perdition, Conscious Darkness.
I first discovered these Polish mad men some two years ago with their album Near Death Revelations. It’s a fine album as far as modern black metal goes, but it never really stuck out to me that much so I haven’t revisited it a whole lot. Sadly I have to say the same about the 4 tracks from their latest offering. Don’t get me wrong, these are okay songs if not a bit overly long; they just don’t really seem to have enough to say to necessitate their length. There’s really only so much you can say on the fragility of humanity, and that’s about the only topic these guys touch on.
I don’t want to give them too much grief on the length of these tracks as that’s such a staple of black metal, especially atmospheric black metal like this. It just seems a tad more justifiable when a beautiful instrumental track like Burzum’s “Tomhet” is 15 minutes long, as opposed to the second track on this album, ” Ashes Remain.” Musically it doesn’t break any ground; all the staples of black metal are present here. Tremolo picking, blast beats, guttural vocals; all the hits and all the classics. It’s very by the numbers in that regard.
Yet as much as I seem to be tearing apart this album, I didn’t hate it. I think it manages to accomplish what it set out to, which seems to be presenting a modern black metal album without the screamo or shoegaze influence many of their peers are fond of. It’s still atmospheric, it just does so without relying on the same My Bloody Valentine tropes that so many other creatively bankrupt bands do.
It’s not a great album, it’s just good. It brings nothing new to the table, but it doesn’t serve as a bastardization of the genre either. If you’re looking for a black metal album that isn’t too long and won’t completely offend your purest sensibilities, it’s fine for that. I can’t say I’d really recommend this album, but I wouldn’t totally dissuade you from listening to it either.
Conscious Darkness gets an average 3/5 from me.
Check it out on Bandcamp here.