The Howling Wind
Pestilence & Peril

So after a string of utterly brilliant releases, Profound Lore seems to be on a bit of mini ‘whiff’ streak with Caina and this release, the new incarnation of former Thralldom/Unearthly Trance brainchild Killusion (Ryan Lipynsky).

Less ambient and cosmic than Thralldom, The Howling Wind is a dirtier, thrashier, grimier set of songs, though a few moments of industrial tinged doom and despondency from his previous outfit arise, they seem more piecemeal attempts to desperately remain linked to the current USBM movement.

After the ambient intro of “Projections” we get two tracks of rather straightforward, muddy, gritty, black thrash by way of “Sin Continuum” and “Virulence 33”, neither of which left a lasting impression despite their desperate Darkthrone meets Hellhammer machinations. Then there’s another ambient interlude in “SouthHaven” like Killusion suddenly remembered four songs into the album, this stuff is all the rage nowadays. “Stealth Eugenics” changes things up again with a tired march before erupting into an atonal Deathspell Omega wannabe climax, and half way through the album, I’m just getting the feeling that Killusion has decided to try to mix as many current black metal trends into one as he can. This is highlighted by the next track, the 10-minute “Forced into the Pits of Technology” where Killusion does the whole droning, suicidal, lurching pained ambient black metal thing. Even though he was doing it with Thralldom, he seemed second tier then, and now seems no more than a kid wanting back in the house after the cool kids showed up to the party.

I have no doubt Mr. Lipynsky is talented and full of conviction, but The Howling Wind seems so forced, empty and desperate to try and fulfil so many black metal needs, it comes across as rather pitiful. Now this isn’t Striborg or Fear of Eternity, laughably bad, it’s not-there are decent riffs and a palpable sense of skill and respect for the genre, it just seems forced and redundant. I would have preferred Lipynsky try a brand new sound rather than rehash Thralldom with less creativity and dirty it up. There’s just no sense of apocalyptic dread or vibe of unearthly foreboding, just hollow riffage (“Deadlands”) and by the numbers atmopherics (“The Inevitable Conclusion”).

Come on Profound Lore-you are waaaaaaaaay better than this.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
December 13th, 2007

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