Released: 2002, Napalm Records
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
Straight from Norway Mactätus’ THE COMPLEX BEWITCHMENT is a 38-minute mixed bag of Dimmu Borgir’s “evil” synth-metal, with some Old Man’s Child and post-Anthems Emperor riffs mixed haphazardly in the fray.
It is hard to take this album seriously when everything about it points to a blatant cash-grab by a sullen-faced group of youngsters afraid to come out from under the skirts of Old Man’s Child or Dimmu, when everything about the album only exemplifies its hilarity. From the semi-nude, heavily painted Goth woman drawing on the cover (pictured several more times throughout), the forlorn-looking band members looking sadly as if someone kicked their cat, to the tepid, cookie-cutter Norwegian synthetic “pseudo-BM” style that has infiltrated the scene, there is nothing original about the band.
With the lack of originality established, there is nothing inherently wrong with the music itself. Certainly, songwriting is an issue with this sextet, but they pull a competent Dimmu Borgir/OMC clone act. Out of the 8 tracks on this album, only two tracks, “The Passage (To The Kingdom Of No Return),” and “Speak The Word Of The Winds” managed to capture my attention, though the interest in the entire album quickly waned.
The only metal fans that would be interested by THE COMPLEX BEWITCHMENT are those of Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, and Old Man’s Child. Those fans should stick to the catalogs of those bands instead of this release, as Emperor’s Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk and Dimmu Borgir’s Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia are far more worthwhile. My advice is to avoid Mactätus as the marketing ploy they are.