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Dagor Dagorath - "Yetzer Ha'Ra" (CD)

Dagor Dagorath - "Yetzer Ha'Ra" CD cover image

"Yetzer Ha'Ra" track listing:

1. The Hell In Heaven (8:19)
2. The Devil On The Chain (5:06)
3. Heaven In Hell (8:44)
4. The Maze Of Madness (8:09)
5. Vicious Circle (5:24)
6. The Call (7:00)
7. Wind Cry (6:51)

Reviewed by on February 2, 2010

"While not a terrible entry for new fans of the symphonic black metal genre, 'Yetzer Ha'Ra' just doesn’t stand out as unique at all"

A symphonic black metal band from Israel? No way! But that is indeed what Dagor Dagorath is. Their first full-length, “Yetzer Ha'Ra,” fits the symphonic black metal genre perfectly; perhaps a little too perfectly, in fact. With all the necessary elements present, this album sounds good. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much to sound great and ends up falling alongside the vast multitudes of bands that sound exactly the same.

Most of the music in this album is driven by the symphonic keyboards. It’s well done and mostly not cheesy (though some of it is). The guitar work is typical blackened tremolo riffs with occasional progressive parts, but these sections are rare and the ones that are there mostly come across as filler. As for the drums, I can’t tell if they are programmed, but they are not particularly interesting. The fills are few and far between. Not that the drumming needs to be very technical, but it does get boring fast. Ultimately, though, I would say that adding fills would not solve the problems, as the fills present are not very good at all.

As I said before, all the elements needed are present on this album. The vocals alternate between raspy screams and deep growls, with the occasional clean vocals for good measure. Every song has the typical blasting drums with blackened tremolo riffs and swirling symphonic effects backing it. But all in all, this album sounds recycled and not very original at all. This is most exemplified in “Heaven in Hell,” which starts out with a great intro but devolves into a black-esque chug fest.

Not that there aren't any good parts. “The Maze of Madness” features a good galloping pace and a nice melodic lead. “Vicious Circle” is by far the most solid song on the album and utilizes a very well done solo, not to mention unusual electronic effects that fit surprisingly well. I only wonder why the band didn’t go more for this sound. The sudden, unique song near the end of the album makes the rest of it seem very inconsistent and sub-par.

While not a terrible entry for new fans of the symphonic black metal genre, “Yetzer Ha'Ra” just doesn’t stand out as unique at all. This is a sound we have all heard a million times before. Sure, they do it well, but what it all boils down to is that the same formula is taken in every song to the point where every song sounds nearly the same. The interesting parts are simply too few and far in-between to call this album unique or even a solid symphonic entry.

Highs: Symphonic black metal that fits the genre well.

Lows: Not much present to stand out from the hordes of similar bands.

Bottom line: While all the right elements are present, this album doesn't have much going for it in the way of being unique.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 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)