Maniac Butcher – Barbarians

Reviewed: July 2002
Released: 1995, PussyGod Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Hidden Gem Review

At the request of some of our readers to review a bit more Black Metal, I dug through my vaults and dug out a quartet of debut albums by European Black Metal albums that all were recorded in 1995. They are Demonic (Norway), Desaster (Germany), Manic Butcher (Czech) and Veles (Poland). Enjoy.

After a couple of demo’s and a split EP, Maniac Butcher unleashed their 6 song, 31 minute, debut EP. With bands like this I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. On one hand they are so ludicrous, so unoriginal and so derivative that they really are a waste of space. However, one the other the commitment and dedication to the form, the preservation of the norm, the adherence to the archetypes of blasphemous Black Metal in an age of weepy, frilly shirted gothic pretenders makes we want to sing their praises to high heaven (or hell).

Everything about the packaging and presentation is substandard but then again that is the point. A pretty poor logo, a superimposed photo on the front, photo’s that we have seen a hundred times (guys with sword standing in the dark) corpse paint, spikes, upside-down crosses, etc… it is all here in it’s glory. No lyrics this time and again translation problems might annoy some people but I thought it was very nice of them to print on the CD an invitation to “Join us in Blasphemous Dark Occult Immortal Black Death Way!!” The band consists of Forgotten, Barbarud Horn, Vlad Blasphemer and Michael the drummer, who obviously couldn’t think of a cool name in time to get it on the CD. Even the band name is ripped off from Destruction.

What salvages this disc with so many weak or unoriginal points? The sheer uncompromisingly ugliness of it all. In my mind of the four bands I reviewed they are the least talented musicians and the weakest songwriters. However, that really doesn’t mean much when you have the enthusiasm to pull it off. Again, substandard production in everyway, guitar tone, mix, separation of the instruments, but that is the point. Easily the fastest and most uncompromising band of the ones I reviewed. Barbarud has a great voice, pure black metal, in fact an almost typical shriek with very little in the low end. The riffs while simplistic are fast and furious, the droning buzz of the guitars never going away. Good stuff!


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