Monday, April 27, 2009

The Meads of Asphodel - The Excommunication of Christ

8/10

Anyone who says that there's no place for synthesizers in metal is just plain wrong. The Meads use them here to great effect, from the NES bleeps and bloops in "Weeping Tears of Angel Light" to the space rock of "The Watchers of Catal Huyuk" to the organ in "Bene Ha Elohim" and church bells in "Pale Dread Hunger." Fortunately, they're mostly used for texture and don't overwhelm the guitars. (One exception is "Jezebel and the Philistines," a completely synth-based song which I still kind of like anyway because it begins with a hilarious porno sample. Porno samples make anything better. The white album? Would've been better with porno samples. "Exile on Main Street?" Would've been better with porno samples.)
Vocalist Metatron has a great voice; his British accent really adds a lot to his delivery, and makes up for the fact that the lyrics are a bit one-dimensional, dealing with Biblical apocrypha and not a whole lot else. Most of the songs also don't go on for too long, which makes sure none of them get bogged down. There's also the first song with a ludicrously long name by the Meads, "Falling with Lightning Rays Beamed Towards the Blazing Firmament Towards the Untended Burial Grounds of Kharsag." It's pretty amazing that they'd managed to make such a unique sound do so well by their debut.

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