Christ Tormenti – Demo I

There’s a fairly interesting idea at work here: oldschool Norwegian black metal viewed through the prism of a modern suicidal style.  Imagine if Mayhem listened to a combination of Celtic Frost, Abruptum, and Trist and you have a good idea of the sound.  It keeps a lot of oldschool Celtic Frost style atmosphere but with a modern black/doom edge which gives it a sort of occult feel that’s absent from a lot of suicidal-leaning projects; it wouldn’t be a misnomer to call it black/doom metal, but that probably makes it sound like it’s sadder than it actually is.  Most of the mood explored on this demo is pretty depraved and Satanic, so don’t go into it thinking it’s a soundtrack for self-mutilation.  Maybe it is, but you’d be doing it for the wrong reasons!

The production is awful but it kind of works some of the time.  The clacking, rehearsal room drums are oddly cool during the (frequent) slow sections of the music, which interacts well with the typical shrieking vocals and buzzing guitar tone.  But anything about a funereal crawl tends to make things sound ridiculous, with thrash beats turning the tin can snare into a parody of itself.  It’s pretty unmixed and extremely dry, but it has a bit of acoustical space that comes out best while trudging along in reverent misery.  I guess it makes sense because the fast parts seem quite out of place; when the music is slow and low it’s pretty sick and bizarre, but during the shoehorned fast sections a lot of the atmosphere is lost.  It sounds like they were put there to make the music more ‘black metal’.  I’d say abandon them entirely and just make everything an ugly, Gallhammer-esque trod.

The content on this demo isn’t amazing but it’s a pretty good start.  As an extrapolation of Gallhammer’s sound into something more musical, it’s quite a success, showing you can combine that zombielike delivery with actual riffs and create music that’s memorable and worthwhile.  With a bit of tightening of the songwriting and production, I can see Christ Tormenti becoming a pretty unique and interesting project.  My advice: abandon the fast parts, tone down the vocals a bit, and keep on cranking out those sick Celtic Frost inspired riffs of absolute negativity.  Anything above 100 BPM is much too happy!

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~ by noktorn on July 7, 2008.

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