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Review: Old Castles - Die Wampyriskra Symphonie
Old Castles
Die Wampyriskra Symphonie

Label: Inferna Profundus Records
Year released: 2021
Duration: 34:24
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 2.5/5

Review online: January 27, 2021
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Die Wampyriskra Symphonie

Rated 2.33/5 (46.67%) (3 Votes)

Well, this is quite different than most of what I've been listening to lately. Old Castles, which doesn't seem to have much, if any, online presence, let alone much information in the press release except that this is a one-man band from who-knows-what-country.

The music is heavily influenced by Burzum. Before you get too excited, a lot of the album is just synths so there's a lot of quiet, melancholic stuff here, some of which sounding like it's from one of those horror movies that take place in some lost, isolated place in the middle of some creepy forest. That can sound cool, but you really have to be in the mood for this stuff and it took me a few listens for this to sink in. The intro is annoying in that it's practically silent, the sound so low that you'll double check if you actually pressed play. The first minute is practically inaudible and then it's very sparse synths stuff. Basically, three minutes lost on a 34-minute album. I get that he's building up the mood, but this is way too quiet.

As for the actual black metal, it's extremely lo-fi stuff, a production so minimal that deciphering this can be a challenge. It's on the fast side of things and the vocals, or I should really say the screams, are completely demoniac and so far in the back that it feels like they're trying to reach out from the deepest depths of hell. I like that lo-fi stuff, especially when it's this demented, but there's only 12 minutes of it or so on the album and the rest is all synths.

It's an OK album if you like synths and/or are in the right mood for it, but as a metal album it's seriously lacking. A better balance could have been achieved here...

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