Review Summary: This poor excuse of a black metal album is one of sheer hilarity, not brutality.
Argentum is a relatively unknown band from Monterrey, Mexico, that plays a cheesy style of keyboard-heavy, atmospheric black metal. They are:
Khabee Asura Baba Bathra - Vocals
Setar Fher Sabboth - Guitar
Owen Dhelium Kunrath - Guitar
Senoath Mortum Mahanad - Bass
Henry Graves - Keyboards
Darkkus Baron Samedi - Drums
Argentum's first full-length release, "Ad Interitum Funebrarum" is as off-putting as black metal gets. The album does almost nothing right, and thinking that it's dark, atmospheric, and evil, makes this release all the more intolerable.
The attempt to create a bleak ambiance with frequent, annoying horse whinnies (a complete rip-off of Bathory's near-perfect "Blood Fire Death"), Casio keyboard choral passages, weak Gregorian chanting segments, and echoing spoken excerpts is completely laughable. The production stands as pretty run-of-the-mill by black metal standards and does not take away, nor add to the atmosphere of the album, although the drums do sound a bit muddy (which is mainly fault of the terrible drumming).
Yet, there are a few redeeming aspects this album carries. Although the guitar riffing throughout is stale and uninspired (to say the least), the Peste Noire-influenced soloing is superb. There's quite a lot of shredding to be heard on "Ad Interitum Funebrarum", but more often than not, it's accompanied by thin, keyboard-laden riffs. Beautiful, Spanish-style acoustic guitar is placed sparsely throughout the album and helps break up the dull monotony of the songs it's featured on, but these instances are few and far between. It's actually a shame, as these moments are the only real aspects worth listening to.
An example of this is displayed on the track "Ad Posthumum". The song begins with a tasteful, melodic acoustic passage, only to be quickly ruined by the drums and keyboards that come in playing one of the stupidest riffs I've ever heard. In addition, every song on "Ad Interitum Funebrarum" is too long for its own good, with tracks at least 6 minutes in length that have absolutely no progression at all. Argentum begins every song playing the same lackluster riff, followed by several minutes of characterless, open-chugging, which leads back into the main riff, all the while thinking it's more evil than it really is and as a result, hardly any atmosphere at all is created.
To top everything off, the vocals are fragile and forced. Typical shrieks and wails are present, but are poorly executed and come off as pathetic sounding. Vocalist, Khabee Asura Baba Bathra, can often be heard intentionally squawking like a bird. The mental picture evoked is one of pure hilarity. Not to worry though, Khabee breaks-up his terrible vocals on "Pax Moriendi" with spoken passages so awful, you'll wonder if Argentum is a serious band. Unfortunately they are.
With pretentious song titles in Latin that are far too long, drumming that sounds plastic and muffled, a non-existent bass, and basic, bland guitar riffing, Argentum succeed in creating one of the most cringe-worthy black metal albums I have ever listened to. Every song falls flat and is devoid of any kind of progression. The vocals are horrific (in a bad way) and halt any kind of great enjoyment that this album could provide. Avoid "Ad Interitum Funebrarum" at all costs. If you want to hear great black metal guitar work, listen to Peste Noire. If it's atmosphere you're after, listen to Bathory. There is no reason whatsoever to listen to Argentum. Unless, that is, they decide to form a vocal-less, acoustic, mariachi band.
- Great guitar soloing.
- Beautiful, albeit short, acoustic passages.
- Overall poor instrumentation.
- Cheesy keyboard riffs.
- Spoken sections are overdone.
- Lengthy songs.