Monday, October 19, 2015
Yfel - The Depths of Hell
Yfel: (n) Acronym: Yet-another Fucking-armon-nicholson Edition LP. 2013's The Depths of Hell is one of four full lengths Armon released that year - the third actually - and the only officially black metal album. At this point, I'm mainly left asking myself what the main differences are in his projects. This one is decidedly more black metal influenced in sound but the death metal influences of all his other projects anchor the music once again. It's the one factor that, in my opinion, holds Armon back in some regards; the inability to shake off what is a subliminal influence in a project in which it is not needed. Yet the distinctive Armon personality that drifts in the underbrush of all his projects is also one of the fascinating things about listening to them; how many ways can Armon be Armon in different genres?
With Yfel, the majority of the material is blackened death metal. It just so happens that the majority of the material is tame and derivative. When we get the doomy, moody aspects of other projects fingering through like Jim Carey extricating himself from the Rhinoceros in Ace Ventura in a couple tracks Armon gifts us with some more interesting material which is less generic. A perfect example of this is "A Cold, Dark Fog" which is a standout by it's individuality on the disc, as Armon crafts a genuinely beautiful piece of music that contrasts well. It's a momentary respite from the onslaught of extreme metal. A similar patient and moody lapse appears before the ignition of final track "The Black Seas of Infinity," as well as partway through as a twice-recurring theme.
The majority of the material, however, staggers along with tremolo riffs and double bass sounding too tight and clean to do this black thrash death stuff really well. "Omnipresent Emptiness" ends with a very structured tempo-drop of ringing notes. There is little character to the event. Opening track "The Might of Lucifer" doesn't make Lucifer sound too mighty with a clean guitar section halfway through. Lyrically, as on Licrest's Misery, often when the lyrics do poke through, we catch glimpses of words which do not entice. In "The Might of Lucifer," we get 'dead prostitutes,' as content. I don't know what filleted hookers have to do with Satan. "Baptized In Demon's Blood" is mildly enjoyable, mostly for the chorus section, but only if you'll find enjoyment from screaming 'baptized in demon's blood, baptized in hate'.
Not a lot of stand outs here and the two songs that interest me are the least connected to the material on the album in style. I'm still waiting for Armon's masterpiece. This isn't it.