IXXI
Elect Darkness

When Ondskapt members announced a side project a few years back, I jumped at it, who would not? I must say I was underwhelmed with IXXI, the self titled debut, though I still picked up Assorted Armament. I will freely admit that I was not planning on buying Elect Darkness but then it arrived in the mail courtesy of Candlelight. I am not usually a big fan of black and roll, with a few notable exceptions, and IXXI is not one of them.

Simple drum patterns, simple guitar lines, croaked vocals, spoken word passages, slow and simple sums it up. When the most interesting part of a song is a church bell sample you know you are in trouble. “Truly here to last,” unfortunately. Remember the comical attempt at twisted vocals from “Investigating the Horrific”? That paled in comparison to “Sectarian Trance,” which killed the debut album for me. Assorted Armament added some bells and whistles, or would that be guns and rockets, to the mix but did not improve the total presentation much, though “An Epoch Most Cursed” showed promise for the future.

The future is now, so what have we got? A bit heavier and faster, slightly improved drumming, occasional erratic twangs of the strings that simulate “atmosphere”, and vocals that have markedly improved. Slow and simple is still the mantra but they have developed a more ominous tone and have discovered the benefits of subtlety. The appearance of some actually melodic lines is appreciated, the moaned vocals have not grown on me, the more traditional harsh style of vocals works best. We get some blastbeats on “Enthusiasm”, i.e. speed, and it takes “Enthusiasm” to finally give me some. Finally more black elements than roll elements, faster, harsher, more inspired, more enthusiastic. By the time “Vindicator” rolls around they have been, almost. I still have not forgiven “Sectarian Trance.”

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
April 27th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: axiom

    I listened to this about a month ago, not knowing anything about past efforts/personnel, etc. I sounded to me like musicians from other metal backgrounds trying to play black metal. Not very convincing.


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