Crimson Moon - To Embrace The Vampyric Blood review


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Band: Crimson Moon
Album: To Embrace The Vampyric Blood
Release date: 1996

01. Intro: Dirge Of The Apocalypse
02. Kingdom Of Shadows
03. Praised Be The Blood Of The Serpent
04. Carpe Noctem
05. The Stormbringer
06. Sender Of Nocturnal Visions
07. To Offer Thy Crimson Sacrament
08. The Eye Of The Draconis
09. Outro: Embraced

Are there any occult-themed JRPG creators out there looking for a soundtrack? Because this is it.

If you don't like synths and piercing keyboard sound effects in your black metal, or your music in general, then this is an immediate hard-avoid album. They're so over-the-top, in-your-faceears, headache-inducing -- just overall absolutely obtrusive and tireless. It's such a blatant and confusing stylistic choice that distracts from literally any and all other aspects of the album, to the point of several listens still return almost nothing except for a ringing ping in your ear, like a ceaseless dog whistle that you can now resonate with because your brain's frequency has been altered due to massive synth overexposure. They sure do prepare you during the album's intro, though, so that's at least an appreciable, almost respectable, trait. No sneaky "gotcha!" moments here.

Now if you're able to break free from the raging synth assault, there are other things to attend to here. Even though it's incredibly on the nose, the eerie atmosphere and simple melodies help ease the suffering a tad, though they're buried in the mix compared to -- again -- the overwhelming upfront synth work. There aren't really any standout moments or brilliant solos or anything captivating like that, as the primary focus of this full-length debut is evidently to set the scene as if you're in an early '90s SNES game visiting a fantasy-realm haunted church or embarking on a journey through demon-infested lands.

The early Crimson Moon staple of deep, whispered spoken word passages helps break up the monotony a bit as well but that's distracting for only so long. Even the simple background blastbeats of the drums are tuned so low in the mix they only augment the contrasting sharpness of the synths. With such meandering tracks that somehow extend beyond the 40 minute mark and blanketed guitars that never venture beyond an amateurish a-b-a-b formula, it's difficult to imagine anyone truly enjoying this. It's incredibly uninteresting in terms of its songwriting, it's poorly mixed (even if intentionally so to emphasize the synths), and the intended atmosphere is spoiled by an abundance of synth abuse.

To Embrace The Vampyric Blood is to embrace the sound of the dog whistle, and that's not something I imagine anyone wants.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 5
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 6
Production: 5


Written on 22.09.2019 by I'm total pro; that's what I'm here for.

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