This does nothing for me. I have to play it for the purposes of reviewing and I am trying hard to pick out bits and pieces that are worth remembering and bringing to you, the readers' attention.
It's hard work. And not because the music is rubbish because for me Black Metal and Death Metal fall into that age-old bracket of you like it or you don't like it. There isn't any middle ground.
Those Black Metal fans that I've spoken to are a terribly introverted group who pour scorn on anything that isn't up to their extreme standards and many a time even the big Black Metal bands come in for a hard time because they've gone to mainstream!
There can't be many more extreme forms of music and those Black Metal fans are a devoted lot who obviously want Black Metal to appeal to as little people as possible in case the world should find out and spoil their fun. Ironically enough didn't VENOM coin the term Black Metal? You'll not find a more extreme band than Cronos and Co but they didn't take it too seriously and neither should anyone else.
You see this, to the uninitiated is just a wall of noise. Drummers drumming faster than the speed of light, vocalists screaming until their voice box implodes, guitarists who can riff for Satan themselves and keyboards that just seem totally out of place and band members with painted faces like KISS.
It is all taken very seriously indeed but to my ears it's still a complete noise. The vocals are awful. The drumming too fast and furious; the keyboard fanfares just pushes the whole circus over board and as for the guitarists: they can play but would do better in a Metal band where their skills would be that bit more appreciated.
You see when DIES ATER slow things down they turn into a fine Heavy Metal band incorporating SLAYER sized drumming with huge slabs of Melodic Power Metal. It's just that they want to crucify everything in the way to get somewhere most people don't want to end up!
To end the music is not bad it's just not accessible enough and I don't for a minute believe that DIES ATER are in the music business for the love of playing.
Maybe I am missing the point. If so please email and tell me why… (Online December 6, 2003)