Act of God - The Place of Worship - (7/10)
Published on August 31, 2006
It has become more and more rare that a band can be viewed as a really unique one. The Russians from Act of God coming from Perm (no, it is not the French death metal band having lost an “S”) belong to this category, because they have created a sound, which is not yet familiar with any other band. We have bands who incorporate opera-like singing. We have bands which play a harsh black/death metal. Do we have bands which merge opera-like singing with harsh black/death metal? Well, we do now, because that is exactly what Act of God serve us on their debut album The Place of Worship.
In opposite to the most bands of the harder category which use operatic vocals, Victoria Perminova’s soprano is the leading element in the sound of Act of God, which makes the whole as much unique and interesting as it takes getting used to, because the songs are not at all instantly catchy, one has to take the time and dig a bit deeper to gain access to their music. And the opener “Dirty Worms” unites all these, with raging black metal and high soprano, some violent contrast, but it is the great appeal of this sound.
The musicianship is top-notch, that becomes clear along the way, because even in spite of the partly furious instrumentation, the songs never get lost in sheer hardness, but show a lot of details, revealing the class of these musicians. Another thing that becomes clear soon enough is the limited variety of the vocal lines, which on the whole sound a bit to alike, which dampens the album a bit. But on the other hand they are trying to bring more variety in their music, with the boosted orchestration of “Atheism for Dead” or the furious blasting of “Act Of God” or the somewhat slower, again orchestral “In Darkness”. Definitely worth of mentioning is “Freezing Moon”, yes a Mayhem cover, the black metal classic goes opera, sounds very interesting as well.
Whatever you would think of Act of God, their uniqueness is not an issue, the same goes for the execution, if one looks over the somewhat one-dimensional vocals, it still persists the question if one has the adequate frame of mind to digest this mixture…