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Classic Review: Mütiilation - Vampires of Black Imperial Blood
Vampires of Black Imperial Blood

Label: Drakkar Productions
Year released: 1995
Duration: 54:12
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: January 31, 2009
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating
Vampires of Black Imperial Blood

Rated 4.11/5 (82.14%) (28 Votes)

Mütiilation easily encapsulate all that it means to be grim, kvlt and tr00 in the realms of Black Metal. Not only were they the darlings of Les Légions Noires from their demo material alone, but they managed to create a morbid, harsh dissonance which matched the very best in the scene pound for pound in sheer icy atmosphere. While it's arguable that the demo versions of this selection of tracks were better than the ones that are on offer for this debut, there's no denying the quality of the chilling, trebly hiss that fills your soul upon listening to this album.

Meyhna'ch , the mastermind behind this aural bleakness, must have certainly had a screw lose when he put these songs together, they're just so wrong sounding that they couldn't have been the offspring of a healthy mind. The sub-zero guitar work clangs and shimmers its way through discordant riffs and arpeggios, backed up with dustbin drums that flicker like a black flame behind the madness, generally keeping the nocturnal pulse steady and rhythmic without being afraid of going completely ballistic like some skeletal out of control freight train. Together with the torturous vomited vocals, the atmosphere of the album transports you to a freezing, dark dungeon, filled with garbled moans emanating from the gloom that taunt and unsettle you from your sanity. Yes, it's THAT fucking morose. The guitars are at their most disturbing when they're twanging away slowly, sounding almost out of tune at times — there's no room for flashy musicianship here — it's all about the twisted perversity.

For those who've yet to check Mütiilation out, you can't get a better starting point than this (although the original Drakkar version has been out of print for an age, there are constantly bootleg versions flying around if you check the right places). It's best listened to alone at night, so you can really meditate on every stripped down, dilapidated nuance. If you're a fan of Xasthur, Manes and the like, you NEED this in your collection.

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