Symbol Of Blasphemy – Symbol Of Blasphemy

Black/doom is a fusion that, while logically natural, seems to exist in a rather awkward place in the metal scene. A few artists such as Nortt have been able to fully reconcile them (probably due to his adaptation of BM aesthetic), but the majority exist in a sort of grey area between the two genres, unable to fully connect the to and dispel their contradictions. Thus, those artists that we see attempting such a fusion often suffer from Opeth Syndrome: fantastic parts that have great difficulty connecting with each other.

Symbol Of Blasphemy is a one-man project out of the US which is attempting just such a fusion. The debut self-titled release runs through eight tracks in about thirty-five minutes, which, while seemingly slim for a doom-influenced release, actually works fairly well in this case, not dragging the music out any longer than it needs to be. The music is, in addition to that fusion, slightly influenced by melodic death metal, which adds an additional dimension to the proceedings.

However, despite this bit of variance, the music here needs to work. The first and most obvious problem here is the vocals. There are two breeds here: the first high and screeching, the second deep and growling. While the latter is fairly serviceable, the former, which takes up the vast majority of the vocals on this release, is awfully grating and unpleasant to listen to. Its timber is very unnatural and strained sounding, as if the musician behind this is trying too hard to ‘sound black metal’ as opposed to simply letting it go.

The music itself, however, isn’t too bad. Almost exclusively mid-paced and churning, it’s highly riff-based and lacks the keyboards that overwhelm many releases of this style. Unfortunately, as mentioned in the opening paragraph of this review, the band suffers from the so-described Opeth Syndrome. While when you look at it up close, the individual riffs and segments are perfectly fine, if not especially stirring. However, they connect with each other in a disjointed fashion, and have great difficulty making you pay attention to it for very long. That’s probably the part of this album that hits it the hardest: it doesn’t grab your attention like it should, and lacks the intensity of more heralded artists of this sort.

Symbol Of Blasphemy, while not downright bad, certainly needs some work to be as effective as it aspires to be. Luckily, the issues here are ones that can be resolved through mere practice and dedication. Hopefully, we’ll soon see Symbol Of Blasphemy reaching the heights that it most certainly is capable of.

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~ by noktorn on April 19, 2007.

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