The latest hype train has arrived at it’s next destination, and that destination is the new Blaze of Perdition record – Conscious Darkness. I’m just going to get it out the way, this is not my black metal AOTY, and I firmly believe to an extent this is being over-hyped. While yes, Blaze of Perdition absolutely improved over their last record Near Death Revelations , namely is focusing their sound towards a slightly more technical/proggier angle rather than blending in with every single ortho/blackdeath/nu meme band out there, and also by shortening the length of his next record by a considerable margin, they still hasn’t in my mine reached a level where they can be considered one of the top tier black metal bands around right now. Then again, my taste in what constitutes an AOTY is not exactly standard affair, or even really good taste if I’m being honest. I’d give a 10 to a random who black metal bandcamp project because they sound bizzare before I give a 10 to a professionally produced very good standard black metal album. While my favorite strange of black metal leans towards the more traditional side of things, I like weird shit more than anything. I’m 100% guilty of giving high scores on records mostly for them simply being weird and different, because when you listen to as much metal as I do, you can only hear the same chords and same technique so much before you just want someone to make an interesting mess for a change of pace, even if on a technical level it isn’t great.
I feel that Blaze of Perdition hasn’t quite separated themselves from the crowd enough for me to crown this album as worthy of one of the black metal albums of the decade as some have claimed, let alone an AOTY contender. While yes, they have put out two very good albums in a row, and have asserted themselves among the higher tier of new school black metal bands, can you really say that they have asserted themselves on a higher level as say, Zhrine, DSO, Sinmara, or Howls of Ebb? The answer to me quite frankly is no. I can consent to them being seen as an equal, but that is where I draw the line.
Now, that being said, does this album still kick serious ass? Absofuckinglutely. Blaze of Perdition takes a page out of the new book of Svartidauði, taking the tradition orthodox sound and progging up the shit out of it. Perhaps a new trend is developing, at least I fucking hope so because I’m tired of the same murky dissonant chord chugs made to make unironic Laveyan satanists cum on themselves while tipping their fedoras and stroking their shitty excuse for a goatee. I fucking swear so much of ortho black and blackdeath feels like cheesy libertarian prog for douchebags. Don’t get me wrong, it can be good music, but I can feel the pretension seething with every note. It’s one of the reasons Blut Aus Nord has fallen out of favor with me and I’m really fucking scared to listen to their new record. Because I can’t handle “DEE-DAA-DEE-DUU-DEE-DAA UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” over industrial synths in the name satan AGAIN.
On the flip side, this style of ortho black has some pretentious feeling to it but it doesn’t sound like it was made specifically for the artist to jerk to. There’s a semblance of appealing to a greater audience without totally feeling like it’s selling out, and fuck me if I didn’t head bang during A Glimpse of God. The production is a bit of a weakness in that it feels pretty damn generic with it’s nod to the loudness war, however this music is obviously supposed to be played loud and proud, so I’m not too upset about it.
Other than that, I can’t really say much else about this that isn’t obvious. This isn’t some astounding new material in the scene, however it executes the new school aesthetic better than at least 90% of it’s contemporaries, and I have to think they will continue to do so. Can’t wait for their next record, although hopefully it won’t be another trend hop.