Blood Stained Dusk
Black Faith Inquisition

Enthrone Darkness Triumphant. Seen Through the Veils of Darkness. The Somberlain. In the Nightside Eclipse. If you already own or know these albums, then there’s nothing here that’s new or fresh – or that you haven’t already heard recycled elsewhere over and over.

I hate to start off a review on a negative note, but much of this album’s sound was a hoary cliché ten years ago – even though this is coming out of Alabama, not Scandinavia. You can already guess what you’ll get. Corpse paint, spikes and pentagrams. Melodies that sound so much like countless other songs that you wouldn’t know what to compare them to first. And whoo-whoo spooky choral voices and keyboards that ride along with the guitar lines. I’m generally a fan of orchestration in black metal but these are the worst kind of keyboards – fake, tinny and about as scary as a kid’s drawing of a haunted house. Guest vocalist Pest (ex-Gorgoroth, Obtained Enslavement) does a fine job, but it’s not enough to elevate the material. Many songs are also overlong (ten minutes or more) and undeservedly so, since all that effort rarely results in something memorable.

Even still, there are some moments that broke out as the album blurred by. Regal clean vocals at the start of “Coven of the Dying Sun,” and the Yngwie-ish neoclassical soloing at the close of that song. A particularly evil (and fresh) sounding riff towards the end of “Conquering the Avarice of Mortality.” The martial stomp at the core of “Astrum Obscurum.” These few fragments make it clear that there’s a band with talent here – if only they could find some inspired material to apply it to.

I far preferred the sound of Blood Stained Dusk‘s debut, Dirge of Death’s Silence – it may have sounded just like In the Nightside Eclipse, but if you’re going to copy someone, that’s not a bad place to start. This just comes off as the muddled mix of a ton of third-wave black metal bands from the late ’90s. My advice: drop the cheesy keyboards and craft some tight, focused songs that don’t sound like a rehash of the genre’s last fifteen years.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
February 10th, 2009

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