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Classic Review: I Shalt Become - Wanderings
I Shalt Become

Label: Moribund Records
Year released: 1996
Duration: 60:38
Tracks: 14
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: January 16, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating

Rated 4/5 (80%) (5 Votes)

I was very happy to hear that Moribund Records had finally done the right thing and decided to re-issue this 1996 underground gem a few months back, and I was dry mouthed with delirious anticipation of its arrival through my post box. Once it did, I was not disappointed. "Wanderings" has been much revered in the underground, and accompanied by the fact that it was near impossible to get hold of, even on the dreaded eBay (mainly due to it originally being released on a tiny label, with only a small number of units pressed), it garnered even more cult appeal.

I Shalt Become pedal some exceptionally depressing and suicidal black metal, which is not for those of a weak disposition, as this release truly sounds as if it has been dredged from the very depths of Hades itself. No doubt coming from a tortured mind (I Shalt Become was a solo project), the music is similar in ways to the dissonant arpeggio ridden terror of Shining, Ashdautus or Xasthur (although you must bear in mind that this album pre-dates all of the aforementioned bands, making this release even more impressive for its time!). The production is absolutely perfect for the music, with the waspish guitars pushed to the forefront, and the drums and hate-filled vocals soaring slightly lower in the mix. The occasional addition of synth is also welcomed, as it is never obtrusive, and adds to the sublimely desolate and ascetic moods. The speed is hardly above a mid-paced slow burn throughout the albums entirety, adding to the feel of desperation and misery, without ever getting repetitive or dull (in fact, the tracks are generally quite short, ranging between 3 to 5 minutes on average).

But if this review has yet to have completed its task enough to whet your appetite thus far, and you're still undecided on whether to pick this beauty up (which you really should if you think about it), it's not just the "Wanderings" album you will be getting, oh no. There is also the bonus of a Burzum cover, and two Judas Iscariot covers (one of which is "The Heavens Drop with Human Gore" – one of Judas Iscariot's best in my humble opinion). What more can you ask for? So, do as Moribund Records have done by doing the right thing. Stop sitting reading this, and get that over excited trembling hand placing that order now. You won't regret it one bit.

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