Released: 2008, Indie Recordings
Some fans might remember Norway’s Tulus from the ‘90’s black metal explosion. Although they never reached the heights of acceptance afforded Emperor or Mayhem, they carved out a nice career for themselves, releasing three albums in the late ‘90s before morphing into the more well-known band Khold. With Khold on hiatus (although reportedly back in action earlier this year) the band decided to revive their original band for another kick at the can.
I admit to missing Tulus’ in its first incarnation, and as Khold inspires wildly divergent opinions among fans, I was curious to see what would be on offer from BIOGRAPHY OBSCENE. Would it be as below-average as some believed Khold was? Would it be avant-garde? As it turns out, Tulus circa 2007/2008 is a very “standard” black metal offering. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, but given the band’s pedigree, I half expected something totally bizarre like DHG. But from the opening croaks of “Prelude”, it’s clear that Tulus treads a much more orthodox path. There are the occasional glimpses of creativity, like the screeching violin strings in “Stories Untold” or the horns and howled female vocals on the title track, but for the most part, BIOGRAPHY OBSCENE follows along behind the many, many typical black metal albums from the past 18 years.
Again, that’s not to say that this album is not enjoyable – quite the opposite. Tulus keeps the song writing concise and intense, making for a consistently engaging listen. Like Khold, I have seen some very divisive reviews of this album, so it’s obviously not for everyone. While it won’t win any awards, BIOGRAPHY OBSCENE is a good album – black metal fans could do much worse than this.