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Review: Conqueror - Cries of the Wolf
Cries of the Wolf

Label: Independent
Year released: 1997
Duration: 20:34
Tracks: 4
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: August 27, 2020
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Readers' Rating
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Rated 2.25/5 (45%) (4 Votes)

There are several bands with the name Conqueror, but this is one from Malaysia that actually had some significance in their local scene. They were part of what was called the Watchtower Fraternity, which was a counterpart of the Black Circle in Norway that helped organize a Black Metal scene in the country and was led by the band Nebiras, whom Fenriz gave special mention to in the liner notes for A Blaze in the Northern Sky. Of course, any kind of Metal music was and still is frowned upon down there, often leading to bands having copies of their albums destroyed by the government, and with much of it being officially banned these days, it's understandable that there was never a reissue of this release, meaning that the only way you can really get your hands on it is through a download.

I bring all of this up partly because the historian in me wishes to help preserve an important piece of a scene's history, but mostly it's because the history and circumstances around Cries of the Wolf are more interesting than the album itself. Musically, this is pretty standard second wave Black Metal that doesn't really do anything to stand out. The riffs are decent but repeat way too much, the songwriting is mostly mid-paced and lacking in build or drama, and the recording is muffled just past the point of being underground and into the realm of simply sounding poor. Despite its severe mediocrity, I am glad to see someone was able to put it online so it doesn't become lost media, as for better or worse it is a historically important album. Sadly, when you get past that, you're left with an album whose most interesting feature is an overlong intro that sounds like a third-rate imitation of Emperor, and that makes this hard to recommend as little more than a curiosity.

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