Review Summary: Soundtrack To Your Suicide
Some wounds outlast eternity.
Ironically enough, it all starts with Dimmu Borgir - the mediocre, greedy commercial band scorned by black metal purists. A while ago, an album by a relatively unknown Greek band The Eternal Suffering
got released into the Net masquerading as Dimmu's "Abrahadabra". Needless to say, the album showed surprising quality, and definitely surpassed any expectations anyone could have of a Dimmu album. When the ruse was exposed, the band got some well-deserved publicity, but the more important thing is that the final song of their album turned out to be a cover. Stylistically their original material was so similar to the covered song, that it was nigh impossible to discern any practical differences - only a stroke of luck led me to know that "Iconoclasm Omega" was a Dark Fortress song. And that's how I found "Stab Wounds". And all of my expectations were met and exceeded.
This fantastic effort seems unpopular here on Sputnik, probably because of it being the nexus of the band's brief DSBM phase. And most people don't like to be pushed into gloomy depression. But let me tell you, in the case of this album it's well worth it. It wraps you in a pleasantly cool cocoon of apathy as it leads you through realms of jadedness and self-loath conveyed by the vocalist's shrieks as well as through moderately used spoken word. Its atmosphere is practically that of gothic horror fantasy, it makes you feel like you were playing Diablo. And even more interestingly, listening to this album makes suicide actually seem like an attractive option worth considering.
The greatest hit on the album is definitely the stunning opener, the aforementioned "Iconoclasm Omega". This one is actually more of a typical Dark Fortress song, a well-written almost seven minutes of vicious riffs with some of the catchiest ones I've heard yet, especially the one immediately after the starting riff. Add an excerpt from an interview with Charles Manson and you get a song that can never go wrong. The title track is more representative of the album, containing both blistering aggression and contemplative sadness. "Stab Wounds" has many further highlights, with the tasteful piano solo in "Despise the Living", the whole song "A Midnight Poem" with its varied dynamics and bold suicidal overtones, the atmospheric riff of "Rest in Oblivion" and the Lifelover
-like riffing in "Like a Somnambulist in Daylight's Fire". Other songs are either more groove oriented or short interludes, and though not mentioned above, none of them is bad or out of place.
The songs reinforce one another and their order on the album is greatly thought through - of the final three songs two are instrumental interludes, and the middle one a sludgy, droning piece. The mood is much livelier in the beginning of the album, and it is no stretch to say that it gradually devolves into drone, just as the final drops of blood make their way out of your life-loathing veins. The final song "Sleep" is just that - the final invitation to finally let go, riddled with not much more than ambient black metal guitar distortion noise.
"Stab Wounds" also sets itself apart from many of its contemporary albums by the fact that the band isn't afraid to play solos, and they do it quite tastefully and in many songs, which only enhances the artistic values of this album. Last but not least, the band included Katatonia
's Endtime as the final track, and executed with a bit more black metal flavor than the original, it fits in surprisingly well.
The album is a staple release in melodic black metal and is also a very solid offering for DSBM fans. It doesn't get boring, works intensely on the listener's mood and is simply well played. It delivers all across the board. Listen to it.