Rating:
6.5
1349 - Revelations Of The Black Flame
2 June 2009


Disc I
01. Invocation
02. Serpentine Sibilance
03. Horns
04. Maggot Fetus... Teeth Like Thorns
05. Misanthropy
06. Uncreation
07. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun [Pink Floyd cover]
08. Solitude
09. At The Gate...

Disc II [limited edition: Works Of Fire, Forces Of Hell - Live Stockholm 2005]
01. Hellfire
02. Chasing Dragons
03. Satanic Propaganda
04. I Am Abomination
05. Manifest
06. Slaves To Slaughter


I think that everyone who is familiar with the playing style of the Norwegian black metal act 1349 will be, mildly speaking, shocked after hearing their newest release entitled Revelation of The Black Flame. If you worship the insane speed of their previous releases, or their ability to capture the very essence of chaos and turn it into music, you are going to look at this album with disgust. You don't need to read any further, for you, this album is utter crap. However, if you are looking for something that doesn't need to have 2543 BPM drumming to capture your attention, read further...

The intro of the first track, "Invocation", is something unlike anything I've heard before. It begins with a terrible tortured scream of what seems to be a man in true agony. Then, more screams join, each more terrible and painful than the last. And as this orchestra of unimaginable agony reaches it's peak, the screams slowly fade away only to get replaced with the sound of guitars, blasting through that horrible noise. This intro should give you a good idea what to expect in the release. This release isn't about insanely fast, stylish riffs and top-notch drumming. Instead, this release was intended to give you the idea of what's it like to endure an eternity in the most feared place of all times, a place called Hell...

I do belive that this release is going to split the opinion of people right in two. Those who hate this far more ambiental approach (or rather, fans of the earlier albums) will call this album "awful", "a betrayal of the previous style" or perhaps use some far more vulgar language. And there are others, who will love (or maybe just pretend to love) just that thing about the album the other group hates. For you, speed junkies, I repeat: you have very little to look for here. Riffs are slow, put no emphasis on catchyness, and lack of energy and burning hatred you would expect from 1349. Drums follow this trend, and won't feel like a thousand hammers smashing in your head like they used to. The vocals help with the new atmosphere as well, so they are also nothing like before. The only song which might interest you is "Maggot Fetus... Teeth Like Horns", and even that one sounds more like it came from one of Darkthrone's latest albums.

And now, those of you who like ambient... This album has an amazing number of 3 instrumental songs (after which I had a hard time trying to sleep at night), and a Pink Floyd cover. Ah, yes, about that cover. You really won't believe it, but 1349 managed to turn the the song of a progressive rock band into a 6 minute piece of pure ambiental terror. The sound of wind blowing through your speakers, with evil whispering vocals, and a bass slowly tearing it's way through both is something you don't want to listen to in the middle of the night, while you're alone. Trust me. Anyway, the album does manage to create an eerie, at times terrifying atmosphere with quite simple musicianship. It is present throughout the whole release, and the whole thing feels like a brief tour through Hell. It's agonizing, desolate and never-ending... Revelations of The Black Flame will make you feel all of this.

Now comes the difficult part.... the rating. Well, as mentioned many times before, the fans of the previous albums will see this one as deserving of no more than a 4.5. But, if you liked what is described in the previous paragraph, the album is worth much more, although it still lacks that something to be brilliant. As an ambiental release, it's not short of a 8.5. So, the final rating is a compromise.


Band profile: 1349
Album: Revelations Of The Black Flame


 


written by Slayer666 | 15.10.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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rickdouglas85 - 16.10.2009 at 02:58  
Great commentary bro, thanks for the honest review.
Baz Anderson - 16.10.2009 at 03:08  
Really, a shocking album. Very ambitious.
It isn't awful, but there's only a few songs I'd go back to for more. I can't wait for them to come back over here so I can probe their minds again.
LeChron James - 16.10.2009 at 09:38  
Top notch drumming is not showcased here. this album is bombarded with filler tracks. im all for bands being ambitious and trying to do black metal in its rawest form, but 1349 didnt do it right for me with this release.
Slayer666 - 16.10.2009 at 10:17  
Written by LeChron James on 16.10.2009 at 09:38

Top notch drumming is not showcased here. this album is bombarded with filler tracks. im all for bands being ambitious and trying to do black metal in its rawest form, but 1349 didnt do it right for me with this release.

I don't think they really wanted to do BM in it's rawest. Rather, I think they tried a little experiment with ambient BM. In the eyes of many, it failed. I kinda like it, though. Not like other 1349 albums, but it's still a solid release IMO.
LeChron James - 16.10.2009 at 10:58  
Written by Slayer666 on 16.10.2009 at 10:17

I don't think they really wanted to do BM in it's rawest. Rather, I think they tried a little experiment with ambient BM. In the eyes of many, it failed. I kinda like it, though. Not like other 1349 albums, but it's still a solid release IMO.

alright, they didnt do black metal in its rawest AT ALL, by rawest i sorta meant "the most progressive and not typical 1349 album ever". granted i didnt illustrate that, but when 1349 did away with their "blood is the mortar" attitude for a pseudo-progressive black metal approach, tehy immitated the atmospheric black metal they couldnt possibly produce.
blackwreath - 18.11.2009 at 12:52  
Hmm after reading your review I think I might give them one more try. I despised Hellfire.
Slayer666 - 18.11.2009 at 14:54  
Written by blackwreath on 18.11.2009 at 12:52

Hmm after reading your review I think I might give them one more try. I despised Hellfire.

I am shocked!!! Just kidding.
Well, there is no guarantee you will like this, either... It's completely different, yes, but many people who disliked 1349's previous work also dislike this....
SatyriconChick - 04.12.2009 at 06:27  
It's not a horrible album like so many seem to claim it is... I really enjoy "Uncreation" in particular. However, I definitely like Hellfire better as an overall album.
Mr. Doctor - 04.12.2009 at 13:43  
I never cared for 1349 because it was just brainless blast imho. But if you say that this is something different [and I really enjoy some ambient BM] then I will check this out but keeping my expectations low.

Good review btw, it maked me feel interested.
Slayer666 - 04.12.2009 at 17:14  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 04.12.2009 at 13:43

I never cared for 1349 because it was just brainless blast imho. But if you say that this is something different [and I really enjoy some ambient BM] then I will check this out but keeping my expectations low.

Good review btw, it maked me feel interested.

So, did you check it out? Whatcha think?
Mr. Doctor - 04.12.2009 at 18:38  
Written by Slayer666 on 04.12.2009 at 17:14

So, did you check it out? Whatcha think?


I don't know if it's better but it's at least more interesting than everything they've done before. I still don't understand what's so great about this band, really overrated.

I would agree with your review and also with the 6,5... And I also believe that the rest of the albums should have the same rating or even less.
Slayer666 - 05.12.2009 at 12:06  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 04.12.2009 at 18:38

Written by Slayer666 on 04.12.2009 at 17:14

So, did you check it out? Whatcha think?


I don't know if it's better but it's at least more interesting than everything they've done before. I still don't understand what's so great about this band, really overrated.

I would agree with your review and also with the 6,5... And I also believe that the rest of the albums should have the same rating or even less.

Don't be so sure about that. Listen to "Hellfire" or "Beyond The Apocalypse" when you are reaaally pissed at someone/something, but you can't punch him/her/it.
Or, when you are overflowing with adrenaline.
Mr. Doctor - 05.12.2009 at 12:40  
Written by Slayer666 on 05.12.2009 at 12:06

Don't be so sure about that. Listen to "Hellfire" or "Beyond The Apocalypse" when you are reaaally pissed at someone/something, but you can't punch him/her/it.
Or, when you are overflowing with adrenaline.


I usually put some good Sludge like Eyehategod or Acid Bath and get a perfect result, but I shall take your word and try. There are a few bands [and even genres] that I truly disliked at the beginning and turned up to be good [like Grindcore]... We'll see if 1349 can be good too.
Mr. Doctor - 20.11.2011 at 03:49  
Written by Slayer666 on 04.12.2009 at 17:14
So, did you check it out? Whatcha think?


Well, now I can give a better opinion since I actually bought the album (it was pretty damn cheap and it was the limited edition with the live album so I thought "why not?").

I found it pretty good. I would give it one full point higher than your rating. At first listen it was quite meh (and I listened to it in completely darkness and alone) but the second time everything sounded better. The thing that really bugs me about your review is how you constantly write like the album was worth a 8 and then talk about how you give it a 6,5 because it's not the genre expected by the fans. That's honestly quite absurd. Why should you compromise the rating?

I'm all for comparing a current work with the previous ones but when the genre changes so abruptly you can't just do that. It's just like if I gave an album like... Let's say Brave Murder Day a low rating only (and I say only because that's the impresion I get from your review) because they changed their style a lot, despite the fact that I dig it. It's unfair to the album you are reviewing and also the previous work and makes for a confusing review with all the paragraphs giving a quite positive aspect and all of a sudden a random final paragraph lowering everything you said.
If this is a black metal album that uses a lot of ambient influence... treat it such, not like the way it isn't supposed to be in the first place (a fast and blastbeat based album).

I'm pretty sure the problem 1349 got with their fans is that they didn't release so called "transition albums", slowly introducing ambient touches to their music so the fanbase could slowly dig it. 1349 said "fuck that shit" and created this record, I give them credit for that.
Now, I'm pretty sure that a lot of people don't like it simply because they don't like it. Some times a cigar is just a cigar. But I'm also sure than a lot of people just got pissed off because they didn't get their fast black album and gave it a rating like if it was such an album.

Written by Troy Killjoy on 20.11.2011 at 03:41
it's still not anything to get your panties wet over.

Oh believe me, I listened to this album with zero expectations and the first thing I said after the album stopped was "Ok, is pretty decent I guess... Why the hate?" It's obviously not a masterpiece but every comment I've read about it makes it seem like if it was a completely failure in all fronts.
Slayer666 - 20.11.2011 at 11:29  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 20.11.2011 at 03:49

rant


In my defence, the review was published two years ago. I was a young and inexperienced reviewer back then, I don't do that shit no mo'.

Besides, didn't a wise man once say: "Fuck the rating and read the review"?
I still firmly stand by what I wrote back then (minus the last paragraph).
Mr. Doctor - 20.11.2011 at 14:58  
Written by Slayer666 on 20.11.2011 at 11:29

In my defence, the review was published two years ago. I was a young and inexperienced reviewer back then, I don't do that shit no mo'.

Besides, didn't a wise man once say: "Fuck the rating and read the review"?
I still firmly stand by what I wrote back then (minus the last paragraph).


In my defence: I totally forgot the review was actually old.
Second defence: I was not pissed off when I wrote it, sorry if I gave that impression.

The comment about "fuck the rating" doesn't apply to me in this case. I'm obviously not making a rant about the rating, I'm making a rant about the last paragraph which now I realise it's damn old. I read the entire review and agree with pretty much everything (minus the last paragraph).
Yeah, quite a good ambient album, it seems to be a grower since I really would have given it a 6 if I only listened to it once, after 2 spins Iit felt better. Obviously not a masterpiece but defnitely not a bad ambient BM.

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