Released: Octo, Inspired Hate Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
USBM is famous for its wide canon of one-man-bands offering diverse symphonies, such as Panopticon’s bloodcurdling political integrity and Caladan Brood’s epic fantasy tales. And now, to add to that canon comes the latest release to please any horror film or gothic fiction nerds. LOUSIANA VOODOO is the sixth album from Illinois’s I Shalt Become, and if you love your gripping suspense and classical music, you have to hear this one.
This release opens with probably the most eerie intro I’ve heard all year. ‘Lust’ carries a very chilling use of a piano, similar to Acherontas’s and Hecate Enthroned’s recent ventures, and the gothic atmosphere deepens with the morbid blends of a cello and faraway vocals. ‘Strangers’ and ‘Total Perspective Vortex’ mirror this structure, which made me wonder if vocalist Holliman had been listening to a lot of post-black metal. I was certainly reminded of several shoegaze releases with this album.
But the overall moroseness of this album comes in the wall of sound which I Shalt Become have mastered on every track. The title track has a more traditional black metal flow but how Holliman has managed to blend in the keys and classical instruments to sound like a Corvux Corax symphony will leave you shivering with morbid delight.
Although I’d recommend this album to anyone looking into experimental black metal, I will warn that it does start to drag later on with the slow pacing of ‘Braquemard’ and ‘Brief Glimpses of Death’, before ending on a 19 minute climax with ‘The Rats in the Walls’. I won’t say this band is becoming self indulgent, but to anyone who picks it up – make sure you listen to it only when you’ve got time on your hands.
Overall, however, this is the album you need to own if you’ve ever wondered what a Guillermo Del Toro film put to music with lashings of Nosferatu sounds like. I Shalt Become have made it very clear this will be one very opportunistic year for USBM.
Review by Demitri Levantis