Saturday, December 22, 2012

Spiculum Iratus

Spiculum Iratus/Bestial Incarnation - Monuments of Decimation
Baneful Genesis Records, 2007

Spiculum Iratus:
1. Intro/Confusion of Tongues
2. Black Crucifixion Wounds
3. Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered
4. Perdition
5. Sky Burial Requiem
6. Scrolls of the Dead
7. The Seventh Day of Wrath
Bestial Incarnation:
8. Denominated Abhorrence
9. Bestial Incarnation
10. Opprobrium Bestowed Upon the Sub-Humans
11. Divinity Scorned
12. Eradicating the Human Race

Side Bestial Incarnation here
Side Spiculum Iratus:

Most people that know me know I tend to dislike U.S. Black Metal.  Something about this nation just lacks the same passion and atmosphere for me.  I suppose it was only a matter of time for a few people to figure it out here and there.  Spiculum Iratus seems to be one of those bands that’s kind of on the path to “getting it”, for lack of better words. 

Is this album astounding, no not really.  But it’s starting to bear elements that will only make them stronger in the future.  I can’t say the U.S. will really be competing with Europe anytime soon, but we all have to start somewhere.  Maybe this generation will finally have its day.  This is actually one of the first albums I don’t feel like saying the main influence is Darkthrone.  Rather, if we go into Arckanum’s catalog and give “Fran Marder” a listen, I think we’d find a bit of a closer comparison.  Which is quite a compliment coming from me because I really like those first two Arckanum albums.  However, the guitar tone from Spiculum Iratus is very thin.  The bass and guitars don’t have nearly the same presence.  Some people may be put off by this tone (or lack thereof), because it really is… well, lacking.  I took it upon myself to move beyond this infraction because it is their first released recording and decided to focus more on their compositional prowess.

Compositionally this band is actually pretty strong.  They write songs that flow and fit together pretty well, and it doesn’t sound like I’m listening to Darkthrone for the 90th time.  Nor do they feel the need to play outrageously blasting Black Metal like Marduk.  In fact they are a fairly mid-paced Black Metal group, focusing more on creating a bit of an atmosphere.  However, I think some of their intended feel was lost in the fairly poor recording quality.  I figure with stronger guitar presence they might put together quite a nice sound.  The major thing that will add to a better atmosphere is if they fixed the vocals.  I’ve actually spoken with the bassist/vocalist on this recording and he said it was a bit of recording limitation.  Be that as it may, the vocals are horrible and it actually kind of ruins the overall listen for me.  At some points it’s almost like having no vocals would have been preferable to these.  I would compare them to the vocal performance on Devilish Era, which is horrible, only the music here is at least good.  The vocals are peaked at impossible levels to the point where they are mostly distorted.  You can’t even tell if the vocalist has a good harsh voice or not because it’s just distortion, almost as if singing through a distortion pedal or something.  It’s just horrible and it really has no place if you want to perform competent Black Metal.  It’s not like Iblis in Endstille, where the guy just screams so loud the recording equipment peaks, this is because the equipment is just that poor.

Lyrically it wasn’t anything profound, but I don’t expect it to come up that often.  The one song I outright didn’t like was “Hanged, Drawn and Quartered” because it is an overly atypical song.  However, I did like “Confusion of Tongues”, and coincidentally I thought it was the best song on the album musically as well.  Though, I would have to correct them in “Black Crucifixion Wounds” where it referenced Mary mother of Jesus as a whore.  This is a common misconception that Mary Magdalene was a whore.  The Mary that was the prostitute is actually a different Mary altogether and from what I’ve read it would seem Mary Magdalene came for a relatively well off family.  The book “Holy Blood, Holy Grail,” has a lengthy passage on this.  From what those authors have derived, the church originally supported the outlook that she was a whore to steer the people away from worshiping the feminine, which was a pretty a common practice in just about all Pagan religions.  And as anyone who has read the Bible knows, it’s pretty pro-male dominance.  Ah well, one little mistake can surely be overlooked, but I figure people enjoy reading those odd ends of facts I tend to throw out every now and again.

In summation, not the most ground breaking recording out there, but it definitely gives hope to the U.S. scene.  I’m starting to find a few more bands here and there that actually have real merit.  I think Spiculum Iratus can be classified as one of those bands that should be watched.  Hopefully they will go on to release better things, with better recording quality of course, for this is one instance where it would benefit the music.

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