Volcanic Queen
Volcanic Queen


3.0
good

Review

by Hernan M. Campbell STAFF
November 17th, 2012 | 33 replies | 1,515 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An obscure Blackened Doom album that is often devoured by its own minimalistic approach, but nonetheless still proves to be enjoyable.

It's rather difficult to comprehend the logic that propels the music of Volcanic Queen. It's an album that seems to be everywhere at once and nowhere at all simultaneously. And what I mean is that there are certainly a lot of ideas being expressed in this album, but there is no sense of coherence that orchestrates them into an appealing musical concept. There's a lot of ambitious experimentation being deployed here, but it often takes the listener into really enigmatic dimensions that tend to leave us feeling alienated, rather than intrigued. Like most Black Metal albums, Volcanic Queen, emphasizes on executing a malevolent demeanor that is meant to disturb and daunt the audience, and in this particular aspect, it certainly succeeds in doing so.

The album opens with a gloomy mood setter, "Withered Upon the Stage", an ambient piece meant to slowly descend us into an ominous scenery. "Bi-Queen Zion of Babel" and "Die You Fucking Bitch!" are the two centerpieces in Volcanic Queen, and the only aggressive moments in the album. Both songs are composed in a similar fashion, particularly with their usage of droning guitars that are clouded in harmonic dissonance for added volume and intensity. "Bi-Queen Zion of Babel" and "Die You Fucking Bitch!" seem to express a very Doom influenced sound within their instrumentation, we really see them favoring slower tempos and repetitive melodies that are drenched in excessive feedback and distortion. The vocals are where the Black Metal influence really stands out, the genre is renowned for the impassioned showmanship of its growling technique, and that's one of the strengths in "Bi-Queen Zion of Babel". Volcanic Queen truly delivers a menacing performance here, and the lo-fi production of the instruments only makes the animosity even more impactive. "Die You Fucking Bitch!", on the other hand deviates from the growls of the previous track, and incorporates a spoken verse section that dwells into a philosophical discussion. It's an interesting direction, but the message is at times undecipherable because it's decorated with feedback noises that are more distracting than embellishing.

In "Tombs and Scattered Bones", we find Volcanic Queen exploring a slightly traditional folk sound, which also serves as the main highlight of the album. The guitar work is very simple, but it's all the more inviting because of it. The melody is soothing and almost sublime in its own right, making it a very alleviating treat for the senses, especially after voyaging through the erratic chaos of the earlier songs. The vocals in "Tombs and Scattered Bones" are another interesting feature because it's really just harmonic breathing rather than actual singing, but it works very thematically with the calming sounds of the acoustic guitar. Theres also an audio sample of a passing train that can be heard throughout the song, it might seem like a random intention, but the sound actually enhances the dreary melody. It's an impressively orchestrated piece and because of its introspective sense of style, it's one that instantly gets into your consciousness.

Overall, Volcanic Queen can be both a frustrating and rewarding listening experience. The choice of having a densely lo-fi production to the music is a prime example of this because at times it ornaments the ominous doom sound, but in other songs it can also be utterly distracting to the point of just being down right annoying. There's also a lot of ambiguity within the theme of the album, yet another example would be the concluding track, "Untitled". It's merely a recording of running shower water that in the end devolves into abhorrent noise. I suppose the water could represent a sense of cleansing, as the listener is washed away from the content of the album, but even then it still feels a bit out of place. In a way, Obscurity could be seen as the recurring theme of the album, but too much of it can really make the listener feel uncomfortable. And the minimalism of the music doesn't do the already limited accessibility of Volcanic Queen any favors. Each song tends to follow the same melodic cycle over and over again, which can be hypnotic in the initial listen, but afterwards it just comes off as laziness. It would be much more interesting to see Volcanic Queen elaborate on their sound. There's a lot of ideas here, but the band really needs some guidance that helps them distinguish the good ones from the bad. And if they can improve on that in their next effort, we may be treated to something that is more exciting than just passable.



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user ratings (12)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
November 16th 2012



44164 Comments


Good review this sounds awesome.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 16th 2012



48550 Comments


An obscure Blackened Doom album
You probably haven't heard of it, no big deal

Digging: The Hotelier - Home, Like NoPlace Is There

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 16th 2012



4339 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Graveyard's EP
http://volcanicqueen.bandcamp.com/

If there are any other sputnik users who have written an album or EP that they'd like me to review, feel free to go to my profile page and link me to the music on my shoutbox. I'd be happy to do write up on it.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 16th 2012



48550 Comments


Oh damn, didn't realize that
Cool

YoYoMancuso
November 16th 2012



10139 Comments


"Die You ***ing Bitch!"


i think i need to check this out.

Digging: The Wonder Years - The Greatest Generation

mindleviticus
November 16th 2012



7940 Comments


I remember listening to this a while ago. Hernan, you're doing a great thing man. Keep it up!

GiaNXGX
November 16th 2012



4867 Comments


Blackened Doom.......


Is this like Wound Upon Wound, Graveyard's taste is really nice so I bet it rocks. Streaming tomorrow.


Edit: Streaming right now, Tombs and Scattered Bones is beautiful.

GiaNXGX
November 16th 2012



4867 Comments


When I release my folk/jazz/post-metal album hell's gonna break loose.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 16th 2012



14506 Comments


will check, nice review

Digging: Atomic Ape - Swarm

Cygnatti
November 16th 2012



20022 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good album

Digging: Lo-Fang - Blue Film

Graveyard
November 16th 2012



5388 Comments


Thanx for listening Paperback! The review iz pretty sweeeeeeeeeet, also.

But this project only has one dude in it and it's me (i do everything, including the samples)


menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 16th 2012



14506 Comments


Listened and re-read review, review is pretty accurate.
'Tombs and Scattered Bones' got something about it for sure, I was almost urging the song to include a few more discernible elements, maybe a bit of extra melody here or there but I gues that could be maybe the intention ?
I dunno, I guess I'm not the target audience but it was interesting to hear though.

Graveyard
November 16th 2012



5388 Comments


Already working on my next EP or whatev

Sounds nothing like this.... O_o

Graveyard
November 16th 2012



5388 Comments


@menawati - I felt that since I striped that certain song down so much it would have a more direct approach to the listener's ears compared to the other tracks.


menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 16th 2012



14506 Comments


Yea it was direct it had the desired effect. Samples were cool.

Cygnatti
November 17th 2012



20022 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

tombs and scatterbones is easily my favorite

CaptainDooRight
November 17th 2012



26442 Comments


swee rev bro

I heard this when Grave released it, I remember enjoying it, I do need another listen tho

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

Graveyard
November 17th 2012



5388 Comments


ssenkrad eht retne

Graveyard
January 22nd 2013



5388 Comments


New album is out guyz: http://volcanicqueen.bandcamp.com/album/lumyth

GiaNXGX
January 22nd 2013



4867 Comments


now what do we have here, dcd ripped-off interludes + neofolk black metal.



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