Istidraj – Blasphemous Ritual

Okay, I like raw black metal as much as the next guy but Istidraj is just silly on this album.  Really, how can I take something like this seriously.  It’s excruciatingly raw, somewhat thrashy but mostly blasty oldschool black metal.  It’s just ridiculous with the overly blasphemous cover art and the painfully thin guitars and venomous vocals.  It’s kind of a fun album but most of the time I just kind of laugh at it and listen to something else.

Excruciatingly raw and blasphemous black metal is really only good if it has decent writing behind it and while Istidraj has its moments of being pretty sweet they’re generally very conventional.  Brutality alone rarely carries a band and in this case it’s no different.  Most of the riffing is pretty recycled ‘Deathcrush’ type tremolo or thrashy chugging and the noisy drums really just clatter as fast as possible while the vocals hiss and spew every which way.  It’s chaotic, yes, but it’s not like much memorable is really carved out of that chaos.

I almost feel bad not liking this more than I do, because I do like ultra-raw black metal and this certainly fits the bill.  But something seems to be lacking; a lot of the time it feels like pretty normal modern black/thrash but with really noisy production, and the more oldschool parts sometimes feel contrived and lacking in coherency.  I appreciate that the band is angry and violent, but I’d like the anger and violence to have a bit more to recommend for it; at least do SOMETHING different instead of echoing shit repeatedly.

It’s not bad, and I’d imagine people who dig raw, oldschool black metal will love this, but it just sort of leaves me cold.  Later Istidraj packs somewhat better production which somehow works for me; the rehearsal feel of this stuff is kind of amusing but not very good for musicality.  Pick it up if you find it cheap, it’s at the least an interesting record but otherwise I’d pass on it.


~ by noktorn on July 23, 2008.

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