Von - _Satanic Blood_
(Hellspawn Records, 1997)
by: Henry Akeley (7 out of 10)
I like this even more than the score might suggest, but in terms of musical prowess, it's pretty low-grade stuff. Also, the sound quality is occasionally spotty; this sounds like it was mastered from a cassette. Still, Von scores big (with me) for its combination of spooky conviction and odd uniqueness. If you've heard Dark Funeral's cover of this cult US band's "Satanic Blood", then you've got the formula for this entire eight-song, 20-minute recording: riffs, beats, and song structures which all define the word 'simplistic,' with an aura of malevolent sickness hanging over everything like an unsettling rotten smell. Proto-black-metal riffs exude menace that mounts through sheer repetition, while death-ish vocals proclaim weird lyrics in a guttural chant. Very cool stuff, likely to be enjoyed if you've got a hunger for the truly feral and raw. On the other hand, if you're annoyed by musicianship of a less-than-professional caliber, you'll have to look elsewhere for the bitchin' chops and sweet licks which you crave.

(article published 14/9/1997)


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