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Inferno Requiem - "Gloomy Night Stories" (CD)

Inferno Requiem - "Gloomy Night Stories" CD cover image

"Gloomy Night Stories" track listing:

1. Crimson Grudge
2. Succubus Possessed
3. Sick Fog
4. Dangling Piggsy
5. Ghastly Vanishing Figure
6. Gashed Twin Wraiths
7. Shadow In The Deep Red Loft
8. Deformed Evil Spirit
9. Distant Wailing In The Tunnel
10. Headless Runners

Reviewed by on September 2, 2008

"Destined to sort the Cradle of Filth fans from the truly demented"

Fog Blashyrkh - an artist with a pseudonym as derivatively foreboding must only represent a musician of truly infernal wizardry, and of the black metal variety. The artist’s band is named Inferno Requiem and steeped in (if you didn’t catch the Immortal reference) Norwegian black metal influence. However one glance at the cover art depicting hellish scenes of ancient Chinese funeral ceremonies and you can see that alongside its more melodic musical fellow Chthonic, Infernal Requiem hails from the far less frostbitten realm of Taiwan. Having spread their musical gloom across China and beyond, Inferno Requiem has now produced the debut “Gloomy Night Stories.”

When you peel away all the album art, lyrics and diehard imagery, Inferno Requiem is a raw black metal band who emulates wholly the Norwegian scene, with a bit of American depression thrown into the mix. If you’re not a fan of Darkthrone, Judas Iscariot, Satyricon, etc., then adding Inferno Requiem to your album collection will no doubt be like seating King Diamond in the middle of a Sunday congregation.

Raw means raw, and Inferno Requiem has gone to lengths in producing a sick chainsaw buzz with a considerably thin sound even when compared to a “perpetual demo” band like Mutiilation. Undoubtedly a salient point of “Gloomy Night Stories,” the production is a testament to the lengths black metal legions will go to regress into a primal haze of static and hypnotic blasts. The bass is non-existent, drums aggressively up front and tin-can like; destined to sort the Cradle of Filth fans from the truly demented. As usual for black metal, Fog doesn’t disappoint on the vocals with not only twisted and enraged screams, but an overall bleak tone reminiscent of Malefic.

In the end this is an attempt to re-create a well known northern formula. The song-writing is what things come down to and it’s a mixed bag of punkish Darkthrone riffs and solid dissonant battery. This requiem is almost a sad one, as being a Taiwanese band gives Inferno Requiem a unique artistic license to surprise the world with an individual flavor which it ultimately fails to do. That said, the riffing doesn’t feel recycled in any way, and though all tracks are solid, “Dangling Piggsy” stands out as a great depressive black metal blast.

If your black metal tendencies are more toward the raw and true-to-roots style (Darkthrone, Sargeist, even Xasthur), then this album should appeal to you and your battle-hardened demographic. It’s no “Transylvanian Hunger,” but I’ll be damned if it’s not the best Taiwanese metal to destroy my ears.

Highs: Solid raw one man black metal with great vocals

Lows: Production will be too raw for most and doesn't stray far from the black metal formula

Bottom line: Recommended for black metal fiends only

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)