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Aguynguerran - "Perverting The Nazarene Cult" (CD)

Aguynguerran - "Perverting The Nazarene Cult" CD cover image

"Perverting The Nazarene Cult" track listing:

1. Anathema Maranatha (1:36)
2. Perverting The Nazarene Cult (5:49)
3. Deathstab (3:18)
4. Christreign Annihilation (6:29)
5. Nazarenus Peritens (0:54)
6. Epitome Of Your God (3:17)
7. Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans (4:59)
8. Manifest (4:52)
9. Assyria (6:41)
10. Oath (4:07)
11. Into Ataraxis (0:26)
12. The Final Slaugther (Nifelheim cover) (4:52)

Reviewed by on April 13, 2009

"There are quite a few departures from the freezing cold sound that would normally be expected from an album like “Perverting The Nazarene Cult” that set Aguynguerran apart from similar bands."

“Perverting The Nazarene Cult” may only be the first full-length album from Belgian black metal band Aguynguerran, but the collected members have more than enough experience in the field to set expectations high. The presence of Nguaroth from Enslaved taking on the band’s vocal duties ought to give a good idea of what to expect from the album, as well as reveal which sort of fans are going to be spending a good deal of time head banging away with devil’s horns proudly displayed. The album does suffer from a few serious flaws, but it has enough high points overall to make it a worthy addition to any black metal collection.

The epic “Anathema Marantha” opens the album with chanting choir vocals and menacing backing keyboards to lay down the framework of the religious excommunication theme that permeates the album. All of the elements come together on the track to create the intended mood before switching into the blast beats and heavy guitar riffs of the title track. Oddly, the sharp and clear production drops noticeably between the opener and “Perverting the Nazarene Cult.” The production spikes back up again into crystal clear territory on the other two instrumental tracks but then drops off once the metal parts start in the following tracks. The flip flopping of the production between the symphonic and brutal songs gives the impression that the band is trying to artificially create the lo-fi necro sound of stereotypical black metal. While all the instruments can definitely be heard on the heavy songs, they are strangely muted and have a far away feel that causes the drums to occasionally get lost.

There are quite a few departures from the freezing cold sound that would normally be expected from an album like “Perverting The Nazarene Cult” that set Aguynguerran apart from similar bands. The differences are immediately apparent on the album cover, as the band chose to ditch the over the top and completely unreadable logo and go with a thoroughly unpronounceable name instead. Several of the songs break the standard mold of a slow and unrelenting evil and go for a rapid fire guitar assault with extremely fast vocals that are clearly intended to flay the skin off any Nazarene cultists who have the misfortune to hear the album. Another unexpected break away is the presence of multiple guitar solos done in a thrash style to show off their guitar prowess. They all sound good enough, and work well enough within the boundaries that the genre creates, to actually fit the tone of the tracks instead of coming off as pointless ego-stroking additions.

The last track on the album is a bombastic and thrashy cover of Nifelheim’s “The Final Slaughter,” which showcases the main flaws of “Perverting the Nazarene Cult.” The cover track and the instrumentals are unfortunately the most compelling songs on the disc, despite the best intentions of the band and the brutal nature of their original works. While the songs are distinguishable from other bands, they do have a good deal of repetition between them. Perhaps if the band had upped the production just a bit on the metal tracks or added in a bit more variety between the songs, they could have made the black metal album to end all black metal albums.

“Perverting the Nazarene Cult” is a commendable first effort with enough of a hook to pull in nearly anyone with an interest in the genre. Black metal fans who are just looking for a specific type of muted atmosphere and a heavily anti-Christian mood should have no complaints about “Perverting the Nazarene Cult” whatsoever. Those who like a higher end production or symphonic moments that aren’t limited solely to interlude tracks may want to hear some samples first before deciding on a purchase however.

Highs: Cool thrash guitar solos, great symphonic interludes, catchy Nifelheim cover

Lows: Muted production on the metal tracks, some repetition between the songs

Bottom line: A worthwhile, although uneven, black metal album with some heavy thrash touches

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)