Judas Iscariot
Distant In Solitary Night


4.0
excellent

Review

by Hawks USER (70 Reviews)
October 27th, 2010 | 44 replies | 6,408 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist


4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Judas Iscariot is a name that fans of black metal should know, yet it's very possible that they don't. This one-man band is an extremely underrated and overlooked band from the United States that was formed in 1992 by Andrew Harris aka Akhenaten, right towards the beginning of the second wave of black metal and right in the middle of all the madness that was going on in the Norwegian scene. A lot of people think that USBM is a joke for the most part and can't even compare to the Scandinavian scene and stuff like that. Well Judas Iscariot doesn't care at all about the comparisons because Distant in Solitary Night is one of the best albums to come out of America's black metal scene. Unlike a lot of the bands in the USBM scene, Judas Iscariot doesn't play "Cascadian" black metal. They opt for a more primitive, straight up, old-school black metal sound similar to bands like Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, and Burzum.

The album is overall quite simple, to be honest. The riffs and drumming are all very simplistic. Nothing that's going to wow you or make you say, "Holy ***, how did he do that?" No, what you get is plenty of repetitive riffs that are very catchy at the same time. They will catch your attention and pull you into the album. They're fuzzy and "buzzsaw-esque" because of the production. A lot of the time the riffs repeat themselves over and over and over again, but never get monotonous and they won't ever put you to sleep and make you stop listening to the album. When you can pull that off, then you know you accomplished your goal. As for the drumming, it gets a little sloppy, but it really doesn't make a difference because it still sounds perfect and it fits the sound of the album. Just like the riffs, the drumming is very samey and repetitive as well, but like I said, fits the sound of the album and still manages to sound really good even though it does get sloppy.

Like I hinted at earlier, the production is very black metal, if you will. Fans of black metal will know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're not a fan of black metal and you listened to this album, you would probably think the production is horrendous when in actuality it's just right. It gives off that buzzing atmosphere in the riffs and you can still hear all the instruments well enough that it's not a problem. It's not as bad as albums like Nattens Madrigal or Paysage d'Hiver, but it's not as clear as the more modern black metal albums. It's right in the middle and fits the music perfectly and it wouldn't be as good if it had that squeaky clean production.

The vocals of Akhenaten on this album are absolutely phenomenal and I would rank it up there as one of my favorite vocal performances on a black metal album. He doesn't have any range whatsoever and basically sticks to the same vocals throughout the whole album, but his voice is so evil and blasphemous that you can't help but to love it. The nihilistic lyrics that this man spews from his vocal chords are absolutely perfect. Akhenaten is an evil man and you can tell just by the sound of his voice and by the lyrics. He doesn't really scream as much as he does grunt. It's not high or low-pitched, it's kind of right in the middle. Sometimes it even seems like he's just talking, but manages to sound extremely hateful and evil while doing it, which is pretty amazing. He is one unique vocalist and a lot of people could tell you the same thing. Think of Varg on crack and not as high-pitched and that's basically what you will here coming from this man's mouth.

So basically, if you like black metal whatsoever, then this is an album that you need. It's an essential album in the USBM scene and is way too overlooked. If you like the primitive nature of the earlier black metal albums to come out of the Scandinavian scene then you will most definitely like Distant in Solitary Night. Judas Iscariot is not just another atmospheric black metal band from the United States, they're a classic second wave black metal band that really needs to be heard by more black metal fans. So fans of Darkthrone and Burzum especially should get on this right now and if you're somehow not a fan of those bands, but still enjoy black metal, then you should get on this right away too.



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user ratings (23)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Hawks
October 27th 2010



35333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Blah, blah, blah another Hawks black metal review. I tried to kind of switch it up a little bit, don't know if it worked. Let me know guys.

Digging: Brutal Truth - Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses

eggsvonsatan
October 27th 2010



1087 Comments


Nice to finally see a Judas Iscariot review on here. I think I'm going to do one myself soon.

Hawks
October 27th 2010



35333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell yeah man. They're definitely way too underrated.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 27th 2010



16299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love the melody in "Where The Winter Beats Incessant". I disagree about the vocals, though, they are very annoying at times, kind of like Immortal.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

Hawks
October 27th 2010



35333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Black Clouds Roll Under the Parapet of the Sky is one of my favorite black metal songs ever. Eh I love the vocals. They never annoyed me at all.

Darkvoid67
October 27th 2010



383 Comments


Review seemed a bit critical for a 4, but at least its a bit different from your other reviews. I pos'd

Hawks
October 27th 2010



35333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man.

eggsvonsatan
October 27th 2010



1087 Comments


Vox are not like Immortal at all. Immortal can sound gollum-esque at times, where this just sounds straight sinister, no goofing around. I also agree with the review about the sloppy drumming, but i think it ads an interesting element.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 27th 2010



16299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I meant Immortal in terms of how annoying they are, not how they sound.

fr33convict
October 27th 2010



11687 Comments


oh look another hawks black metal review


auto pos'd.

Hawks
October 27th 2010



35333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I also agree with the review about the sloppy drumming, but i think it ads an interesting element.

Yeah dude it fits the music very well.
oh look another hawks black metal review


auto pos'd.

Hells yeah!

Gmork89
October 27th 2010



5499 Comments


"his voice is so evil and blasphemous"

I liked this part haha.

Great review man, pos'd

Hawks
October 27th 2010



35333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha thanks man. You gotta get on this!

Gmork89
October 27th 2010



5499 Comments


I'm sure I will man, I still have a list a mile long of your recs to check out haha.

Hawks
October 27th 2010



35333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well add this one to the list lol. This is really great stuff. Check this link out now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABcd7zMMws

Gmork89
October 27th 2010



5499 Comments


Damn, I'm at work or I would, as soon as I'm off I will though, thanks man.

Hawks
October 27th 2010



35333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

God damn work haha. But no problem dude.

Gmork89
October 27th 2010



5499 Comments


Wow, these guys come up with some epic track names haha.

Hawks
October 27th 2010



35333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha I know they're awesome.

Nikkolae
October 27th 2010



4823 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well about fucking time someone did this, awesome album and review

Digging: Clipping - CLPPNG



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