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Perishing Black Light
December 2000
Released: 2000, Independant
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: EvilG

A recent definition of Encryption that I read was "A means of transferring data in an encoded format that is only recognizable between specific systems and looks like garbage to everyone else." I found this kind of amusing if you take the data to be heavy metal and the specific systems to be the band and the listening metalhead. Like with most metal, it "sounds" like garbage to anyone else but to us. For me Encryption's new CD Perishing Black Light was something that I had to hear quite a few times to get into it. This is because their music is somewhat technical and not for a casual listen.

With their second CD, Germany's Encryption have really forged their own sound. On the last CD I was thinking of some other bands but with this one I am not thinking of any other bands...just Encryption. Like on their last CD, Shrouded in Mystery, most songs on here are somewhat lengthy but they are not repetitive! Like on the last album the songs are also mostly up-tempo with lots of twin leads, double kicks, harmony, and melody. The most impressive part of their music is the guitars. Melody lines fill many songs and the soloing is great. The drumming is again top notch. The biggest thing that sets this band apart from so many others is the vocals of Norbert Hartmann. His style is not soaring high like you hear in power metal bands nor are they screeching black metal or rumbling death metal. They are not "clean" vocals either. Norbert really has his own unique style that is all his. Where his style is different, it might take a couple of listens to get into, but it's very cool! The first three tracks on the CD are the heart of this album. They are "Perishing Black Light", "Lambda Core" and "All Philistines." I liked the lyrics to "All Philistines." I guess the reason why is because when I saw the title it made me open the, I didn't know what a "philistine" was. I knew it had some rooting in history, but beyond that I wasn't sure of the reference. So here's your 10 seconds of education: A Philistine is a smug, ignorant, uncultured, or materialistic person. (Ed. note: Sounds like most mallcore listeners huh? haha) They are also people who are regarded as being indifferent or antagonistic to artistic and cultural values. My favorite line from the song is: "Talking so loud, walking so proud. All you monkeys." We ALL know people like that...people who are in fact REALLY stupid, but act like they are a messiah. The album's title track has the best chorus on the CD...and my favorite intro AND ending. I really like the rhythms played on this one which are very tight with the drums. "The Inmost Dance" has a neat part where the song breaks down into a cool clean guitar part backed by the drums - it's not the typical breakdown because it's not strum strum chording and it's not a classical finger-picked section...this sounds more like a clean guitar solo section. It's kinda short and it would of been nice if it was elaborated even more in this song. The other words of praise I have about this album surrounds the CD artwork and layout. The booklet design was done by Encryption's guitarist, Chris Klein. If Encryption doesn't get the recognition they deserve, then there is definitely a future for him in the artistic world!

If you like bands that cross the boundaries of power, thrash and melodic death metal then Encryption may be something you will enjoy. Not a band content to copy, but one who creates, Encryption have my vote as one of the better underground bands out there! More information on the band can be found at
Track Listing






Next review: » Encryption - Shrouded In Mystery
Previous review: » Encoffination - Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh

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