Band Name: Charnel Valley
Album Name: Dark Archives, The
Rating: 1 / 5 User Rating: 0 / 5
Label: Paragon records
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2. The Drowning Forest
3. Demonic Science
4. They Sleep In Open Graves
5. The Beast Of Six Thousand Bones
Judging by the crudely black and white pencil-sketched cover art; this album must be a primitive black metal release. The CD insert proves this assumption correct stating, 'The Dark Archives was arranged, rehearsed and recorded in 5 days with 2 microphones and preserved with a cassette 8 track, to uphold the true spirit of analog.' It's funny that bands would intentionally record and sell an album with a terrible production in a time when the technology to make it sound proper is so readily available. They claim that a bad production creates a grim and cold atmosphere like the sound early BATHORY, EMPEROR, MAYHEM, SATYRICON, and many other revered bands of the black metal genre put out. However, as these bands progressed in their careers, they went on to record albums with a clean, clear production. The fuzzy atmosphere may have been done not intentionally, but because of lack of funds to do the recordings properly. |
Whatever the fascination with this phenomenon in below listenable quality sound is, Charnel Valley subscribes to it, and does so wholeheartedly. 'The Dark Archives' is definitely raw and fuzzy. If the band didn't come right out and state that they preserved their music on an 8 track recorder, it wouldn't be hard to figure it out. The recording sounds like the bootleg CDs which local bands make of their live shows. The guitar tones, especially the bass, sound haunting at times, while other times all the distortion makes them sound like a lawn mower blade in motion. These tones are really the best thing Charnel Valley have going for them, but mediocre string work leaves much to be desired. The drumming here sounds like the player has been walking through snow that is waste deep and needs a breather. The poor production surely does not help the matter either. This drummer must either be playing on a toy set or a wastebasket because the acoustics are complete shit.
It's easy to see where Charnel Valley is going with this release. 'Grim' black metal fans may see the description given of this album and pursue it. It is not, however, recommended. If you want a quality release from this sub-genre of Black Metal, go buy an old BURZUM, a DARKTHRONE album or find something rare like LUCIFER'S HAMMER's underground classic 'The Burning Church.' Then your money will be well-spent.
Review by: Darren Cowan
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