A short while ago I received an email from the United Arab Emirates from a reader that very much enjoyed my prologue of my TRANCE review. If this gentleman together with his camel might also vote for the small, fat Hawk in the next poll, I can slowly think about opening my own zoo, with me as howling monkey as main attraction. Ok, let's move directly to the obscure Metalians THE MEADS OF ASPHODEL, who have quite some faible for oriental sounds. (Now if that was not a great train of thought!) This time the owls have released a split EP with MAYHEM. Compared to the debut "The Excommunication Of Christ" not much has changed, only the Eastern elements have further been increased. If it is Arabic or Jewish folklore I cannot say, but doesn't matter anyway, because we are talking about music here, not religion.
Music, the language of the universe, which lifts every heart, no matter which race, colour or religion. And if you are a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Satanist or whatever, sure on earth is just one thing (the morning shit, even if it's only in the evening!). But seriously: With "Jihad", so the title of the EP, the freaks won't gather many friends in American oriented countries, because some text passages are quite extreme. But I am fairly sure that this is what the band is aiming for.
After a very ironic intro, which combines church choirs with chopper sounds, radio tries and MG shooting, the more or less title track comes out of my speakers, which in the middle stands out with the chants of the muezzin, drum loops and the sufficiently known "Carmina Burana" theme of Carl Orff (already used by SEPULTURA, ICED EARTH or APOPTYGMA BERZERK). On we go with "Paradise", starting with harp sounds, loops and then some harsh guitars and then turns into a very good dark Rocker in the vein of old PARADISE LOST. And then we get the highlight of the CD, "Another God In Another Place", which reminds me of ORPHANED LAND and sounds like the logical sequel to the ninth song of their debut. With "Tanks In The Holy Land" we get a sound collage from the inside of a tank (or not), which ends with a country quote from God's own country. With the great HAWKWIND cover "Assassins Of Allah" the EP comes to an end.
Then the Satanists of MAYHEM show us "Carnage" and "Freezing Moon", which could be found on some other releases. The songs are rawest, most primitive Black Metal, but who am I talking to anyway. Black freaks already know both songs by heart. As this CD for the biggest part will only be bought by die hard MAYHEM fans, the EP even has a sort of educational value. Because that way the worshippers of the Norwegians can even enjoy really good music. (Online July 1, 2003)