Review Summary: An enjoyable rehash of other, far superior offerings.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Condemned are a band that ultimately is a shadow when compared to other death metal bands out there; not paticularly well known and unlikely to be; nothing paticularly unique. The kind of band that you are likely to find in the back aisles of used CD shops; that never really made an impact and for the most part were simply there to fill the void. Should you pass them by however? Definitely not.
Whilst this album is by no means a classic, it is one of those rare albums that is just great as it stands, with every track being an enjoyably crafted slice of brutal death metal. Each band member suceeds in giving a thrashy, reliable showing on each of their instruments. Special mention must go to the drummer however, as instead of simply pounding the double bass and blast beats over and over again as many death metal drummers do, he attempts to put an original spin on things by using random bits of fill.
The biggest two problems with this album are very common in the genre and sadly Condemned do not manage to escape them: Repetetiviness and lack of individuality. If you were to listen to this album and not be allowed to see the track number or times you would simply not be able to tell when each track begins and ends. You could start off listening to track 1 and before you even realize it at least four tracks have gone by. This also causes the album as a whole to feel bloated as each track is brutal riff after brutal riff and gets tiring very quickly. A lot of the tracks when compared to the standouts also feel incredibly fillerish and seem to exist solely to fill up space, thus some of the songs are of little value.
The album occasionally breaks into rare atmospheric moments, the tracks that do this such as Eirgmos Aidios, Catharasis of human impurity and Realms of the ungodly are easily the standouts; As they provide something of a breath of fresh air when compared to the sheer brutality throughout. Lyric wise, this band is something of a suprise, as a lot of imagination and effort has clearly gone into catering the standard death metal subjects and can occasionally serve as a remedy for lack of individuality. Unfortunately, the singers guttural growling can make most of the lyrics near impossible to understand at parts and thus a lot of them loose most of their significance.
Realms of the Ungodly is doubtless an enjoyable experience overall and is definetly recommended if you are seeking some new death metal to jam on an infrequent basis. You really have to give credit to some of the band members for attempting to bring something new to their brand of death metal, unfortunately it may prove to be to little too late. We can only hope that Condemned decides to take their more original route in future rather than rehashing what many of their peers are already doing.