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Conspiracy - "Irremediable" (CD)

Conspiracy - "Irremediable" CD cover image

"Irremediable" track listing:

1. Nocturnal Hunters
2. Ouverture (Instrumental)
3. Black Mass
4. End Of Religion
5. Pentagram
6. The Invocation Of Hecate
7. Irremediable
8. The Hag
9. Armageddon Broke
10. A Dream Of Fear
11. Carpathian Sunset (Instrumental)
12. Bukovina

Reviewed by on December 24, 2010

"While the low-fi production and raspy growls indicate 'Irremediable' to be standard fare for the genre, the flamboyant guitar solos and brooding orchestration say otherwise."

The name Carpathian Wolf many not be familiar to many, but the band Melechesh might ring a few bells. Wolf spent over ten years as the bassist/vocalist for the black metal behemoth before departing after the release of “Emissaries.” He has devoted his time to his one-man project Conspiracy. Their third album, “Irremediable,” finds Wolf collaborating with German guitarist/composer Aryan Blaze in an attempt to broaden the sound. While the low-fi production and raspy growls indicate “Irremediable” to be standard fare for the genre, the flamboyant guitar solos and brooding orchestration say otherwise.

The songwriting jumps back and forth between variations of black, heavy, and thrash metal. In fact, there are subtle nods to “Abigail” era King Diamond on the title track and “Bukovina.” All of these styles mesh in a manner that shows precision and care was taken. From the outset, Conspiracy uses opener “Nocturnal Hunters” as a way to introduce all these elements. The first half of the track is heavy on the static tremolo riffs, which gives way to wicked shredding in the latter part. Throughout the album, the guitar work is the standout, showing Wolf’s fluid playing and technical chops that make him far from an average black metal guitarist.

Symphonic instruments are present in most of the songs and do an admirable job of giving off an epic feel to the simplest track. The extended organ intro to “Pentagram” lends a hand in materializing a forlorn atmosphere that stays for the rest of the song. Mid-paced heavy metal vibes emit out of “Armageddon Broke,” which is fueled by the omnipresent keys. The production does cheapen the orchestration a bit, making it come off as tiny and dinky instead of powerful in the places it needed to be (e.g., the flute in “The Hag”).

The bitter rage is kept contained, released at specific intervals to let people know that Wolf still has hate in him. “Black Mass” and “A Dream of Fear” are frigid cuts that lack in the lyrical department, but make up for it with sheer power. The symphonic work does overwhelm the album, especially on the laborious title track. Wolf tries his hands with a variety of vocal styles, with some laughable falsettos and muddled clean tones on a few tracks. His growl is vicious, though, which should please fans of the genre.

“Irremediable” is not strictly a black metal album, with a whole mess of tempos and genres fused into the record. Each song has something unique, ensuring that the chance of repetition is slim. Wolf is a solid guitarist and songwriter, and having Blaze around makes for some interesting collaboration that just isn’t explored enough. The production and scatter-shot musical approach are a hindrance at the most inopportune times, though the former was probably intentional. The ideas are great in theory, but their delivery is far from perfect. While a far cry from the fantastic work of Melechesh, “Irremediable” is a worthwhile album for black metal minions that want their music to be more than ordinary.

Highs: Killer guitar leads, nice use of orchestration, doesn't stick to one style for long

Lows: Typical black metal production, clean vocals could use work, great concepts that lack the proper execution

Bottom line: A hybrid of different styles that mesh into an album rich with potential, but doesn't deliver.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)