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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: Unhuman Disease - De Templi Autem Veteris Serpentis

So, first things first. I love black metal a lot. It is by far the metal genre I listen to the most, almost exclusively sometimes, yet reviewing black metal is something that I find hard to do. This is because black metal drives more on atmosphere, mood and feeling than any other metal genre. Black metal connects to primal gut feelings and those aren't easily put into words.

Now that we have the disclaimer out of the way it is time to start the review. Unhuman Disease is an American one man black metal band and De Templi Autem Veteris Serpentis (hereby abbreviated to DTAVS) is the seventh album.

Unhuman Disease plays a primitive mid tempo form of black metal with tremolo riffs played mostly high up the register, giving the typical eerie American sounds also found in a band like Judas Iscariot. Production is as you'd expect. DTAVS sounds like it's recorded in a big tunnel with huge reverbs on everything and the drums far in the mix. The vocals are nice and raspy and one of the stronger points of this album with sole member Nocturnus Dominus having a high pitched screech that sometimes reminds me of old Taake albums, albeit not as varied or good. All seems to be well and by the book so far.

And that is exactly where my biggest gripe with this album comes from. To me it feels like Nocturnus Dominus listened to a lot of old Taake, Judas Iscariot and Horna and then went and did just what they did. Nothing presented on this album is something you haven't heard a million times before and the song writing falls short compared to the bands mentioned above. I'm not saying bands should always push boundaries. There is absolutely nothing wrong with primitive back to basics black metal. In fact, I love that kind of music and Taake and Horna are 2 of my favourite bands. However, this primitive approach has to be combined with good song writing, songs and a certain intensity that those bands posses and that Unhuman Disease lacks. There are just not enough standout moments for me personally to enjoy this album. I will give compliments to the songs Obscurity of Invocation and Holy Flames of Perdition for standing out above the grey mass but the rest just plods along in a mid tempo wash.

Once again, black metal is highly dependent on your personal taste. If you are a fan of primitive black metal by all means give this album a chance and add 10 points to the final score. With the exception of the totally redundant "Accursed Ritual" DTAVS isn't a bad album. It's just mediocre and there are way better bands out there that kind of do the same thing. Now if you'll excuse me I'll go and blast some MGLA.

Score: 61/100

1. "Maleficent Devoutness"
2. "Obscurity of Invocation"
3. "Inner Ascension to Incandescence"
4. "Behold the Magnificence of Satan"
5. "Accursed Ritual"
6. "Illuminated Eternal"
7. "Holy Flames of Perdition"
8. "De Templi Autem Veteris Serpentis"

Written by Doctor Chris

Unhuman Disease Facebook

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