Rating:
4.0
The Royal Arch Blaspheme - The Royal Arch Blaspheme
4 April 2010


01. Denial Of The Holy Spirit
02. Jahbulon
03. Via Crucis
04. Isaiah 14:12
05. Dead Eucharist
06. Lust And Sacrilege
07. Ascension Of Lies
08. Alchemic
09. Seven Devils Of Ejaculation
10. Kingdom Of Perversions


Black metal
United States
Hells Headbangers

Line-up on the CD:
N. Imperial - vocals
John Gelso - all instruments


Undoubtedly the most noticeable thing about The Royal Arch Blaspheme's eponymous debut album is the contrite mixture of minimalistic bedroom-produced black metal and some choked-down, irritating growls, all of which has been buried beneath disastrous drum work. Needless to say, I'm not sure if this could ever be considered anybody's cup of tea...

Fans of earlier Darkthrone often lament the mechanical production value of most modern black metal acts, going so far as to consider certain bands as commercial solely based on their inability to sound like they recorded their material in their grandmother's basement. There are times when I consider myself a part of this elitist conglomerate, but as The Royal Arch Blaspheme blasts on (slowly, mind you), I have no choice but to move on and admit that this sound is just boring. Mind-numbingly boring.

Normally one respects a musician who undertakes several instruments "simultaneously" during the recording process, but in this case I am forced to admit that everything presented on this simple album is so easy, a caveman could do it (©). Now I understand and even promote aspects of minimalism and repetition (when it's artful), but when it comes off as a lack of talent? Not so much. Krieg vocalist N. Imperial in no way saves face on this record, going so far as to sound even less convincing than John Gelso's multi-instrumentalist ... well, to be fair you can't call it wankery, because wankery in metalspeak implies some sort of progression between chords or changes throughout the album just for the sake of doing it. What The Royal Arch Blaspheme do is exactly the opposite - sticking to the basics and beating the concept into the listener's head over and over and over just for the sake of doing it.

So what's left to be said for this little number? I'm not sure: no melody, no progression, no atmosphere - not even aggression or raw edge as the sound is just that minimal and boring. There is literally room to improve in every significant area as a band. I find it strange that something like this would even be produced in this day and age given that the style was artful and innovative in a conceptual manner only about, what, two decades ago? Maybe this is just a black metal rebellion against Circle The Wagons. Then again maybe I just don't understand revivalist music like this and the true black metal fans are snickering behind my back for having missed out on a masterpiece.


Website: http://theroyalarchblaspheme.hellsheadbangers.com/

Performance: 5
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Production: 4


 



Written on 03.05.2010 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 22  
Users visited: 147  
Search this topic:  


Mikyz - 03.05.2010 at 18:42  
I find this review to be rather harsh. This has a clear old school influenced sound that I have find pretty enjoyable. This certainly isn't an easily digestible listen but it doesn't deserve the level of bashing you account it for. I think Mayhem or even Autopsy fans would find this to be quite the treat. I agree the sound is pretty monotonous, minimalistic at times and lacks a little originality but it still deserves something in between 6 and 7.5. And I also don't really understand what's wrong with the vocals, they're dirty, vicious, zombie-like and I find them to be in the vein of Arioch (much weaker though).

I can easily sit through and enjoy the whole album, so I don't find it to be 4/10= ultimate crap material. It's enjoyable without being very good imo.

Awesome review though.
Troy Killjoy - 03.05.2010 at 18:52  
Written by Mikyz on 03.05.2010 at 18:42

I find this review to be rather harsh. This has a clear old school influenced sound that I have find pretty enjoyable. This certainly isn't an easily digestible listen but it doesn't deserve the level of bashing you account it for. I think Mayhem or even Autopsy fans would find this to be quite the treat. I agree the sound is pretty monotonous, minimalistic at times and lacks a little originality but it still deserves something in between 6 and 7.5. And I also don't really understand what's wrong with the vocals, they're dirty, vicious, zombie-like and I find them to be in the vein of Arioch (much weaker though).

I can easily sit through and enjoy the whole album, so I don't find it to be 4/10= ultimate crap material. It's enjoyable without being very good imo.

Awesome review though.


Great feedback.

I agree it's a harsh review (fitting for a harsh album), but it felt necessary after about 8 listens. While it's true they are clearly influenced by old school death metal bands and primitive black metal acts, I couldn't get on board with the idea that two veterans of the scene came up with something this drab - not to say I was judging it based on the members' histories, just that there should have been at least a little innovation. As for Mayhem fans liking this - I'm not sure. I'm a big Mayhem fan and found nothing to appreciate with this album, although I'm not as much a fan as Autopsy, so you may be on to something there...

And when it comes to these zombie-like vocals: I'm not so sure I can digest them. I've listened to a lot of black and death metal vocalists, but nothing has really come across as this abrasively repetitive. Maybe some pitch shifts or something would have saved me from labeling this as crap, but unfortunately that wasn't the case.

Maybe you're part of the true black metal fans snickering at me? Sorry for the verbose response.
spirit_inblack - 03.05.2010 at 18:57  
This is not really for Mayhem fans, more for the fans of good old bestial black/death metal. I like this stuff, but it definitely could have been a lot better for primitive/retarded black metal. It's still better than 40% IMO.
Troy Killjoy - 03.05.2010 at 19:04  
Written by spirit_inblack on 03.05.2010 at 18:57

This is not really for Mayhem fans, more for the fans of good old bestial black/death metal. I like this stuff, but it definitely could have been a lot better for primitive/retarded black metal. It's still better than 40% IMO.


I have a feeling more people are going to disagree with me on this one... For me this is malt liquor, for others a fine wine. Enjoy if you must cruel world.

Oh woe is me; alas, I am swimming 'neath the wrong waves in the sea of holy!
Lest ye prove my tastes as black: I will deliver mine ears from evil.
Mikyz - 03.05.2010 at 19:08  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.05.2010 at 18:52

Great feedback.

I agree it's a harsh review (fitting for a harsh album), but it felt necessary after about 8 listens. While it's true they are clearly influenced by old school death metal bands and primitive black metal acts, I couldn't get on board with the idea that two veterans of the scene came up with something this drab - not to say I was judging it based on the members' histories, just that there should have been at least a little innovation. As for Mayhem fans liking this - I'm not sure. I'm a big Mayhem fan and found nothing to appreciate with this album, although I'm not as much a fan as Autopsy, so you may be on to something there...

And when it comes to these zombie-like vocals: I'm not so sure I can digest them. I've listened to a lot of black and death metal vocalists, but nothing has really come across as this abrasively repetitive. Maybe some pitch shifts or something would have saved me from labeling this as crap, but unfortunately that wasn't the case.

Maybe you're part of the true black metal fans snickering at me? Sorry for the verbose response.


The vocals while not being bad are pretty repetitive I agree and do not carry much emotion but I think it suits what they're trying to accomplish, bowel turning ugliness and hostility, if some find this to be too hostile then maybe they reached their goal. Also I think you should give more credit to the songwriting because I find a certain balance between the vocals and instruments which requires a certain amount of skill. I'm sure they could have done better but this is still imo far from crap.

I'm not a true kvult black metal fan with corpse paint and whatnot but these days I find myself enjoying the harsher category of black metal.
Troy Killjoy - 03.05.2010 at 19:20  
Written by Mikyz on 03.05.2010 at 19:08

...

You've got a lot of things to say about this album - you should submit a review of your own to expose people to the elements that make you think of it the way you do.
Marcus - 03.05.2010 at 19:42  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.05.2010 at 19:04


I have a feeling more people are going to disagree with me on this one... For me this is malt liquor, for others a fine wine. Enjoy if you must cruel world.



Wait, you don't like malt liquor?
Troy Killjoy - 03.05.2010 at 20:04  
Written by Marcus on 03.05.2010 at 19:42

Wait, you don't like malt liquor?

That was just a reference to my 40% rating... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malt_liquor#Forties_.2840s.29
Although I should have likened it to absinthe rather than wine.
marzepka87 - 04.05.2010 at 00:01  
I have to agree with this review just for the fact that I'm against US bands that do black or death metal, I'm talking about bands that have come out in the recent years, there is just nothing good about them, and this band wanted to creat an oldschool black album and it did not work out as planned
Got Mayhem? - 04.05.2010 at 02:00  
I haven't listened to it yet, but through the description I have a pretty good idea of what it sounds like. What a lot of low-fi BM musicians have to realize that simply using primitive recording devices will not assure a nostalgic, Darkthrone-esque sound. It isn't exactly easy to describe but I'm sure everyone else here knows that I mean when I say that early Darkthrone and Burzum had a certain quality to them productionwise that really went beyond crappy mics and such. Bands need to take time to find a sound that enhances their music instead of chopping it up. This could mean crystal clear (Ayreon with basement quality production? No thanks...) or it could mean raw as hell ( Bone Awl!). Just my useless 2 cents.
Winterthrone - 04.05.2010 at 03:31  
Written by marzepka87 on 04.05.2010 at 00:01

I have to agree with this review just for the fact that I'm against US bands that do black or death metal, I'm talking about bands that have come out in the recent years, there is just nothing good about them, and this band wanted to creat an oldschool black album and it did not work out as planned


Why? Death metal was born in Tampa, Florida, USA and Black Metal isn't an exclusively European phenomenon! Abigail Williams released a kickass Symphonic Black Metal album in 2008 (you can bash my review of that album if you want), Nachtmystium brought psychedelia to the world of Black Metal and Goatwhore are pretty insane live act... They are all recent bands from USA. I think you are a little close-minded!
Troy Killjoy - 04.05.2010 at 04:11  
Written by Winterthrone on 04.05.2010 at 03:31

Abigail Williams released a kickass Symphonic Black Metal album in 2008...

Although I agree with your point about black metal becoming more familiar ground for bands existing outside of Europe, I still think the The Royal Arch Blaspheme are bad enough, so we don't need to bring Abigail Williams into the mix.
Winterthrone - 04.05.2010 at 04:17  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 04.05.2010 at 04:11

Written by Winterthrone on 04.05.2010 at 03:31

Abigail Williams released a kickass Symphonic Black Metal album in 2008...

Although I agree with your point about black metal becoming more familiar ground for bands existing outside of Europe, I still think the The Royal Arch Blaspheme are bad enough, so we don't need to bring Abigail Williams into the mix.

I understand your point of view on me doin' some name dropping here, but I was answering to his comment on how he was not accepting Black and Death Metal from the US which I find to be close-minded to say the least! I was not comparing the album you reviewed to Abigail Williams, my point was just that there was good releases from the U.S. in the Black Metal genre...
marzepka87 - 04.05.2010 at 04:55  
First of all I never said that there isnt a good release from the US in the black or death genre, there has been plenty and Death is one of my favorite bands, well me saying "against" was an overstatement, and just because I like my black and death metal out of europe does not make me close-minded it just means I have a preference when it comes to my music. I did give a listen to US bands in the black metal genre and just never got into them. When it comes to Goatwhore, Lord Belial kicks their ass everytime and every album
Winterthrone - 04.05.2010 at 05:22  
Written by marzepka87 on 04.05.2010 at 04:55

First of all I never said that there isnt a good release from the US in the black or death genre, there has been plenty and Death is one of my favorite bands, well me saying "against" was an overstatement, and just because I like my black and death metal out of europe does not make me close-minded it just means I have a preference when it comes to my music. I did give a listen to US bands in the black metal genre and just never got into them. When it comes to Goatwhore, Lord Belial kicks their ass everytime and every album

Everyone has musical preferences, but if your musical preferences are determined by the place the music comes from you have a serious problem IMO...And I never said Goatwhore is the best Black Metal band around, I just said they were a good band.
marzepka87 - 04.05.2010 at 06:16  
Listen, it just happens to be that alot of the music I listen to come out of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, France, and Germany, that doesnt mean I dont listen to bands out of US. I dont make my choices based on where the band is from, if they catch my attention and I like what I hear it dont matter where they come from. To me it seems like you're the type of person that feels you're always right and everyone else is wrong and whatever you say is gold and everyone elses opinion is shit
Troy Killjoy - 04.05.2010 at 06:36  
When it comes to the American-style black metal that these guys play, I have to say that Europe has North America beat. I don't think you can compare TRAB to the likes of A Forest Of Stars or Wodensthrone, although bands like Krallice and Wolves In The Throne Room are doing America proud.

I hear they have a bit of a black metal scene up in the frozen North too...
Mikyz - 04.05.2010 at 08:24  
People are always bashing the USBM but I never understood the amount of hate. Sure maybe most of the mediocre Darkthrone clones come from the US but that doesn't make the scene any less capable of delivering quality BM ------> Weakling ffs. You should at least give USBM a chance, what I found is that all the successful North American BM Bands have a unique sound, or at least attempt to improve an established sound. Judge from the music, not from the fudging country.
Doc Godin - 05.05.2010 at 12:54  
Hmm, I'm listening to their website right now...I'm not entirely sure what is all that bad about it...Sure, it's not all that great, but it's not entirely shit, as this review implies.
Troy Killjoy - 05.05.2010 at 16:22  
Written by Doc Godin on 05.05.2010 at 12:54

Hmm, I'm listening to their website right now...I'm not entirely sure what is all that bad about it...Sure, it's not all that great, but it's not entirely shit, as this review implies.

I think the website only offers something like 2 songs from the album: maybe if you listened to all 40 minutes of the album same song you'd feel similar to me, though I wouldn't recommend getting a heavier dose than what you got from their home page.
Winterthrone - 15.05.2010 at 01:03  
Written by marzepka87 on 04.05.2010 at 06:16

Listen, it just happens to be that alot of the music I listen to come out of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, France, and Germany, that doesnt mean I dont listen to bands out of US. I dont make my choices based on where the band is from, if they catch my attention and I like what I hear it dont matter where they come from. To me it seems like you're the type of person that feels you're always right and everyone else is wrong and whatever you say is gold and everyone elses opinion is shit

Man, honestly, don't take it like that! I'm just the type of person who likes arguing! I'm not thinking my opinions are gold, I'm just not sure judging trhe music by the country it comes from is a good way of doing it. Anyway, you've got your own opinions, but maybe your missing some good music judging it by the place it comes from...That's all! Man I offer you a virtual beer, just to make you understand I'm not arrrogant!:beer:
Winterthrone - 15.05.2010 at 01:05  

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Reviews Enthral - Prophecies Of The Dying 6 29.08.2010 by !J.O.O.E.!
Reviews Hæresiarchs Of Dis - In Obsecration Of The Seven Darks 6 05.04.2011 by toadstoolcomics
Reviews Valediction - The Primitive Architecture 6 08.05.2011 by MechanisT
Reviews Satan's Host - By The Hands Of The Devil 6 30.04.2011 by wormdrink414
Reviews Kolp - The Covered Pure Permanence 6 06.08.2010 by !J.O.O.E.!



Hits total: 3773 | This month: 24