Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Banner Top

Label: Hammerheart Records

Date: October 6th, 2023

I grow extremely suspicious when a black metal band starts an album with a slow track. Unless it is some sort of atmospheric, depressive, suicidal or otherwise emotionally inclined band. But they usually announce such cases in the liner notes of the press sheet. This time though, there was none of it. And neither is the album at hand going for feelings other than utter wrathful hatred.

Okay, it is fair to say that “Rise, Oh Horned One, Rise!” picks up the pace later in its duration, but it is still a weird choice to open a record. Unlike its title which fits like a glove.

What follows are eight more songs of black metal purified of any external meddling. Quite literally, I can draw conclusions right here and now. Chilling backdrop of buzzing guitars, blasting drums and pummeling bass, enhanced with melodic, yet menacing lead guitar. Screaming vocals on top, with anti-religious (and otherwise evil) verses and there you have it. Works like a charm every time.

I could also go about name-dropping, but it would lead into endless meandering down the fjords (yes, it is Scandinavia). “Oalevluuk” is a regular black metal album. It has everything a black metal album needs. It doesn’t miss any aspect that made the genre what it is. Sadly though, it doesn’t add anything new to it. Not even the freshness us journalists keep mentioning. No different approaches to riffing, no novelties in composition, nothing out of the ordinary whatsoever.

Although there are a few eyebrow-raising moments (the mentioned leads), the whole thing is rather forgettable. Correctly performed and executed, but heard before countless times before. Even the cover artwork reminds me of some other. Though I cannot put my finger on it, the color scheme makes me think of some other release.

Granted, judging from the info in the press release, the album had all the bad luck known in the music business. It took the band seventeen (!!!) years to see it published. The record had all the twists and turns, was recorded and re-recorded, written and re-written and by the time of its publication, I have a feeling it is a bit outdated. These songs missed their initial starting gun and in the process of getting everything in order the band lost their raw and undistilled impact upon the scene.

It’s my opinion only and I don’t want to be the one commanding a firing squad in front of “Oalevluuk”, but for a band whom the label claims “kings of Dutch black metal”… They couldn’t be further from the truth. I mean, just look at the competition… The recent recordings by Asgrauw, Meslamtaea, Sammath, Infinity… The scene out there is teeming with talent and Salacious Gods need a whole lot more in order to earn the crown.

Banner Content
Tags: , , ,