2.The Black Cloud Upon The City
4.Be Disgusted With The City
5.Lost Wisdom (Burzum Cover)
7.The Elegy Of The City
What the hell is this; a Black Metal band out of China? Well, this should come as no surprise considering China started Black Metal back in 1570AD during the Ming Dynasty. The music was a reaction to Christianity, which had weaseled its way into the Ming Court. All right, I know Black Metal did not start in China, but that stuff I briefly penned about the Ming court is true. Anyhow, half assed history lesson aside, what is more important is Original Sin, a band from China, has released a top notch debut full length CD called Misanthropic.
The album mostly reminds me of a hybrid of Norwegian and USA Black Metal with an influence honed artistically from Burzum and Leviathan. On the surface, this may seem palpable considering the cover of “Lost Wisdom”, but Original Sin has their own sound. This is based on the music displaying complexity instead of a reliance on minimalist riffing prominent in early Burzum material. This fact is proved by either digging early Burzum demos from ones collection for a spin, or by contrasting the solid cover of “Lost Wisdom” against the other tracks on ‘Misanthropy.’ Besides, Varg Vikernes riffs are distinctive enough that blatantly ripping him off is way too evident.
The prominence of bass and sorrowfully angry vocals bring Leviathan to mind, but again, Evil Soul dispels even that contrast by changing up his glottal delivery. Consequently, his singing is anthemic, eerily hymnal, or blasphemously croaking in a distorted echo as heard on “The Black Cloud Upon The City.” Original Sin’s bass is mixed in as a nice lower end beneath the music, like a river of lava flowing in the belly of a volcano. Drums add support nicely with a methodic ritualistic cadence flowing serenely via dramatic pulsations that are almost accentual. Light use of keyboards give the music a feeling of consternation mixed with a sense of limpidity, as if listeners are fondling the breast of beautiful dead girl in a quiet forest. Guitars have a lively vigor despite their trebly sound soaked in distortion. Tremolo is especially enthralling in its capacity to lock listeners in stoner daydreams full of psychedelic demons flicking sandpaper tongues against unprotected flesh. Rocking thrashy parts of tracks, like the 5:26 mark of “Original Sin”, fill the music with a sense of desperation as if listeners are wandering madly in a medieval maze.
‘Misanthropic’ is a recording of varying emotions. Despite having the Chinese speaking abilities of a giraffe, I am ballsy enough to theorize that 3 different tracks with the key word “city” all reflect one form of hatred, disgust, or sordid unease concerning metropolitan life, and the automatons populating its bowels. Even if I am wrong, Evil Soul proves otherwise by playing his instruments with enough zeal to keep listeners enthralled whether hearing the sorrowful song “The Elegy of the City”, or during “Pure Land” where the music is filled with grandiosity. Adding mystery to Original Sin’s ambiance is a simple black and white booklet complete with lyrics written in Chinese… Original Sin is a captivating band deserving earned attention. ‘Misanthropic’ is definitely a quality recording worthy of complimenting any serious collection with the right dosage of pernicious Black Metal.
This release is brought to you by ko1obos of Metal Legions