Monday, February 7, 2011

NEGATIVE PLANE - Stained Glass Revelations CD review

NEGATIVE PLANE - Stained Glass Revelations CD
Ajna Offensive
Genre: Black Metal
Rating: 5/5

This is my first time listening to this three piece from New York although this is their second full length. Their debut, Et in Saecula Saeculorum, came out in 2006 also on Ajna Offensive. After listening to this once I knew I'd have to get their first one as well. What I like about NEGATIVE PLANE is that they incorporate early first wave black metal, proto-thrash and classic doom to create their sound. In this era of experimentation and stretching of boundaries it's good to hear a band keep things in the Metal extreme. Stained Glass Revelations is haunting as well as brutal to the senses. The opening instrumental, "The Fall" welcomes you like a Gothic version of something Quorthorn would have come up with given the chance. It's very nocturnal, very eerie and an incredible way to open this release up. You get this feeling that you're standing in front of two massive doors in some dark subterranean realm and they are opening. What lurks inside is this BATHORY/POSSESSED/HELLHAMMER hybrid. "Lamentations & Ashes" bursts out like it wants to rip you to shreds. The low fi production on here makes it just the more menacing and sounding like it came out in the late 1980's.

"Angels Veiled of Bone" opens with tremolo picked (or tapped?) surf style intro as if the VENTURES put out a Gothic Doom covers album, after a minute we're into the plodding filth. Even with the obvious influences from the past, guitarist/vocalist Nameless Void is not beholden to the mere simplicity when it comes to guitar talent and style. Amidst these long epics of dark atmospheric fog he opens up a bag of six string skills that would have your average Tech Death guitar god bow in defeat. As far as vocals go his throat must be a burning cauldron. Drummer Bestial Devotion also adds backing vocals which at times are almost medieval choir-like. As far as his drumming goes it's adequate and he doesn't use triggers. D.G.'s bass playing is barely audible most of the time but we are talking Black Metal here folks. Most of the audio onslaught comes from Nameless Void' vocals and guitar work and most of the tracks on here are long dark passages with some exceptions. "The Third Hour" is a short Bach inspired piano piece which cements the Gothic tone of Doom to this release a third of the way in. "Charnel Spirit" is a little over a minute's worth of dark guitar ambiance and makes a great segue for "All Souls" which is Quorthorn worship with staccatos running amok. The other short piece is the church organ opening, another Bach inspired piece, to the epic title track.

Stained Glass Revelations is a blackened doom and gloom composition. It's black metal meets the film score for a 1960's Edgar Allan Poe inspired AIP horror flick by Roger Corman. It's the type of release that fans of black metal (the real ones and not hipsters) will immerse themselves into. It conjures up a dark and foreboding atmosphere with a Gothic dose of grandiose with the defining influences being strictly in the metal realm. I'm sure there will be those in the clueless section that will exalt some modern day progressiveness about Stained Glass Revelations. They will be wrong since this sounds like it came from some long forgotten catacomb underneath the cathedral of dread. Only those with the willingness to entertain the thought of actually dying after listening to this need apply.


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