Reviewed: January 2015
Released: 2014, Hibernacula Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
How does one know whether a black metal album is good or not? That’s a tricky question to answer, considering plenty of bands have copied the style made famous by the iconic progenitors of the genre. If you listen to as many albums as I have been doing through the years, an album simply lives and dies with a listen. If you’re compelled to listen to it again, the musicians have done part of the job.
In no other sub-genre of metal has there been more divisiveness. Polarized opinions hint at a disagreement more in keeping with style rather than substance. Most albums that have been as polarizing in recent history have involved stylistic changes, but the acknowledgment on whether an artist or musician has created something worth noting to an altogether different audience cannot be denied. Conflicting opinions arise when fans that do or don’t want to see bands deviate from their original path, feel one way or the other.
Which brings us to the review at-hand, featuring the band Exquisite Ending, and their EP, The Rite of Misanthropism. They are a black metal band. In which case, they play black metal. What makes them different, or what makes this album special? The answer to that question sinks and propels all bands of all genres of music.
In this case, The Rite of Misanthropism, is standard fare black metal that might just please most black metal fans. The tremolo riffs are there, and so are the blasts. The vocals are high-pitched screams and what not. But the question remains: what do I like about them? Give praise where praise is due, it is said. I shall do so here: most of the music is done well. You can tell they’ve rehearsed. They’ve thought about the riffs and the transitions. Is it special? I don’t think so. In fact, going back to my question in the first paragraph, I’m not tempted to go back to this record. I’ve actually played it repeatedly, thinking that it might just sink in later.
The music breezes past me more often than not. I’m afraid the music just doesn’t pique my interest. Let’s face it…there are hordes of bands out there. How does one rise out of the muck and gain a massive following? Some use hype, imagery, more than quality music. Exquisite Ending plays quality black metal…but for whom? Who would pick The Rites of Misanthropism out of the murk that makes up the world of DIY releases and self-releases that all strive to make a strong impression on a listener? It takes more than an average album to rise out of the shadows of obscurity. The way it always has.
In this case, I’ve heard one too many bands do this style of black metal better. Give it a listen before you believe me. You don’t owe the band that time, but as is the case when discovering music, you never know what you might like.
Review by Al Necro
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