Iniciação Eversiva

Black metal is a sink or swim niche for me. Either your band rises above the dross, or it becomes dross to be risen above. Part of this is simply that the niche is not my favorite. My tolerance is lower than fans and fanatics. But part of it is that some bands try to hide behind the myth of cult to get away with being shitty bands. It happened a lot in 80’s punk, 90’s grunge where those styles had the built-in excuse of sloppiness-as-honesty that black metal music can have. Which is why, perhaps, I either love what a band is doing, or absolutely fucking hate it.

Dolentia is not hiding behind anything. Well, other than cowls. They are tight and trim, playing an athletic style of BM emerging from a crusty guitar sound that flat out dominates the bare bones mix, but which can enter some very interesting; almost Die Kruezen-esque passages that lift the songs above the fog and flames and into the torchlight for observation. The drums are well down in the mix, and can seem disconnected at times, but they are hefty in their own way. The bass is a ghost, an insinuation, a theory. Take that as you will, but it annoys me.

The vocals are fairly standard, emphatic black metal hagging. They sit next to the guitar heavy mix, with a certain clarity, given that they are delivered with the requisite tortured direness.

Compositionally, the riffs and chords start out interesting; simple and earnest. The drums sit on the floor toms about as much as they fly in blast beats, creating a nice texture. There is an issue, however, with the length and repetitiveness of the songwriting. As I listened a pattern emerged where I was initially enthralled, then satisfied, then annoyed, and finally, unfortunately, my mind simply wandered. That is never a positive experience for a metal lover. Once I realized it was happening, I spent more and more time trying to figure exactly when the song went from epic to tedious. Where I ought to have been reveling in the music, I was playing a mind game. It is not that the songs are bad; they just very much overstay their welcome.

The good news is that each new song felt fresh, so that there is a lot to recommend in this album, and with this band. If you are a BM fanatic, you may truly appreciate the length and style of these compositions. But if you are a casual listener, you will be hard pressed to keep yourself involved for the whole set.

The bottom line is this record is a swimmer. But it treads water, rather than powers through it. The band is just shy of a larger audience, and they may be just fine with that. BM “success” is not measured in units sold, but in fan fanaticism. If you are a fan of black metal, then, I say give Dolentia your attention. If you like what you hear, consider this a recommendation that there is more in store. If you are more of a general metalhead, this may not be an investment you are willing to make. For myself, I will be interested to see how the band grows.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Sessions
July 22nd, 2015


  1. Commented by: glimmerfunnel

    Ooh ooh ooh, name dropping Die Kreuzen? Must. Listen. Immediately.

  2. Commented by: glimmerfunnel

    Hmmm. That is a very firm “meh”.

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