[Album Review]: Misanthropia (Hol)’s “Slang Des Doods” (Full Length, 2010)

Posted: March 12, 2011 in Album Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,

(Originally reviewed for KtmROCKS)

Those of you who aren’t aware, Misanthropia is a Dutch melodic black metal band that features drummer Sarban Grimminck, who had thrashed the Kathmandu metal scene in the late 90s with the band Dead Soul. I was thrilled to learn that the band had recently opened for Mayhem. They have also played in Hellfest, France, one of the bigger metal festivals in Europe.

“Slang Des Doods”, meaning Snake of Death, is Misanthropia’s second full length studio release after their 2006 album “Rise of Necropolis”. The debut was a testimony bold enough to garner worldwide attention, and I couldn’t discern much of the divergence between the two albums, but can sense that the variations enclosed within each song have just increased this time; hence the progressive tendency in the flow of music is up as well.

The sound of Misanthropia could be said to go along the vein of early Dimmu Borgir and I could also catch some faint Bal-Sagoth and Amorphis feels at times. You could have guessed it already – the keyboards are a fundamental element of Misanthropia’s music, which forms a backbone to and outlines the general sound. They range from plain organs to extreme orchestral string ensembles, binding the gloomy yet epic ambiance. The keys seem to be the major focused instrument here and the guitars are just there to aid it, it appears. But the arrangement seems welcoming and well portrayed, regardless that couple of points with abrupt shifts of direction sounded sloppy to me.

The guitar riffs tend to have originated from death, melodeath, traditional heavy and epic/power metal grounds as well, apart from the labeled black metal. I could also hear some later Cradle of Filth in it. To say, this band was formed from the ashes of Throned by Tyranny, a gothic metal project, but here’s no any bothersome Dani Filth, double bass rolls switching up to one-two beats and power chords that are of hold ‘em down and move ‘em around mode.

The songs mainly center at the melody and mood of the music rather than brutality or technical lines, which is mostly a nice thing. “The Light Bringers” is in fact some sort of slow ballad, in a Dimmu Borgir styled ‘romantic’ symphonic metal fashion. At times, I was questioning if the band name went along with the nature of the songs, but fuck that already; the lyrics are sadistic.

Bram Koller’s vocals are remarkable as well. Although he has released some generic black metal screams and the vocals do not range much apart, they are still enough to keep up the fires. The production is clean and superb, and this catches no old school dirty grimness to hide half of the notes played, though I’ve become sort of a fan of the dirtiness in recent times. The band had got around with Mike Wead (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, et al) who mixed and mastered the album.

The closer track “Tremolo Funeral” is an interesting one, as the band goes acoustic this time, and thus ends forty minutes of “Slang Des Doods”, which is a slow to mid tempo melodic black metal, and even though this variety of genre can hardly strike me enough, I think this one’s a commendable effort by the band nonetheless, who have disclosed a brilliant level of musicianship and much greater potentials.

7.5/10

…and yet again, I’m chuckling at the cover art 🙂

– Samyam Shrestha

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