Surtr - Pulvis Et Umbra review
|Album:||Pulvis Et Umbra|
|Release date:||March 2013|
01. Rise Again
02. Three Winters Of War
03. Sonic Doom
04. The Call
06. I Am The Cross
07. Fred Karno's Army
I will admit that when I first received this album, I was fully convinced that its title was Pelvis Et Umbra and not Pulvis Et Umbra. Immediately I thought "whoa this has to be one of the coolest titles around, hehehe, is it supposed to mean 'shadow of the penis' or something"? Unfortunately, the title in fact translates into "Dust and Shadow", which is a far more cliche title for a doom metal album and even more unfortunately, as it turns out, having the word "pelvis" in the title would have been pretty much the only notable thing going for Surtr on this boring, derivative album.
Surtr is a French band that specializes in pretty straight forward traditional doom metal of the monotonous, vintage Saint Vitus variety, with occasional epic tendencies and more 'modern' death-doom parts appearing in some songs. All jokes aside, there is evidence of some talent here, with some of the riffs being appropriately catchy in that morose, moping way that doom metal fans have come to love. Unfortunately, all it takes is the first few seconds of the opener "Rise Again" to notice that something is very, very wrong here. First of all, the vocals are a very weak point of this album due to the singer's tuneless delivery and bad French accent. While a band such as Warning is able to turn a tuneless delivery into art, Surtr's vocalist just sounds like a karaoke performer with bronchitis and listening to a song like "Sonic Doom" is a cringe-inducing experience, even though the track actually features pleasantly grinding guitars in the verses and a well-developed death-doom breakdown.
Secondly, the promo I received features rather poor sound quality, with the kick drums and lower bass being noticeably distorted on every headphone and speaker system that I've listened to this album with. I even downloaded a pirated copy of this album just to make sure that the final release isn't mixed better and lo and behold, welcome to lo-fi country. No doubt, this is caused by an over-zealous, yet inexperienced mastering engineer trying very hard to make Surtr's music sound more imposing than it actually does. Either way, the production is definitely a huge fail and takes away from the enjoyment of this album in a big way, as the overdone kick drums pummel away at you, masking the riffs and vocals alike (although the latter is not such a bad thing).
All in all, Surtr's Pulvis Et Umbra is not really an album I'd feel comfortable recommending to anyone. Certainly, some of the less picky doom metal fans out there will find some things to like about this album; however, even they will be distracted by its aforementioned flaws. Indeed, what I have primarily learned from listening to this album is that everything is better with a dick joke thrown in, even doom metal.
||Written on 17.04.2013 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.|
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