There are certain times when an album comes up and you’re not exactly sure how to describe it to anyone. You start to trip over yourself getting overly technical when it really isn’t needed. With this debut album from In League With Satan they are part of the group of bands that you really can’t fully describe exactly what they are. So just to keep it simple, I will say this. They are experimental black metal. They don’t play traditional by any means, they’re not exactly atmospheric, they’re experimental. When receiving releases from the Merdumgiriz label, I never know what I’ll end up getting. The music that is put out is some of the strangest metal, yet it’s always incredibly captivating, abrasive and purely destructive, and with the release of this debut from these black metal merchants all of those things apply here.
There’s nothing quite like being confused about what you’re listening to. Sooner or later you understand what it is, maybe because the music itself warps your mind enough to make you believe that it is something that is completely sane and normal. However, In League With Satan is anything but sane and normal, nothing about this release is sane and normal.
This self titled release is responsible for nine schizophrenic songs. Each song is relatively short with the two longest being just over four minutes. There is no shortage of rapid fire noise that bounces off of your ear drums only to be projected back at hyper speed to decimate the little part of ear drum you have left. The music isn’t just noise however-even though it may be to some-the band has a plan. The noise is controlled chaos and seems to be made as crazy and wild as possible. In making something extremely crazy and out there you run the risk of just making noise. And as I stated above some people may see and hear this as just that exactly, and that is understandable.
However, whether you think of this as just a bunch of random noise that was crammed on a disc or not, In League With Satan is an experimental black metal band, and this music truly is experimental and whether you like it or not probably doesn’t bug them one way or the other.
This whole album is a symphony of madness. From beginning to end there’s not a lot out there-or anything out there-that is quite like it. Being experimental means that you can do whatever you want to to the music, and In League With Satan takes full advantage of that. With every song you get riffs that are sonic and tearing as well as the occasional paranoid guitar solo, machine gun fire drumming, heavy thick bass, and a vocalist that seems to have lost his mind. His vocals range from a higher pitched black metal sound to a guttural growling with the higher pitched black metal vocal being more of the main vocal style. Coupled with the metallic onslaught are the droning, dissonant noises that accompany the musicianship. You get a menagerie of noises that range from wailing screams, to dissonant droning and others in between. In fact the only songs that are relatively just genuine black metal are Affirmation of Antichrist, Fetid Heresy, and Daughter of the Ancient Ones.
The great thing about music is it can be interpreted any which way that you want it to be. This album is truly unique, it shreds, and is at times very dizzying. This self titled debut is interesting to say the least, and In League With Satan takes experimentation to a different level with this. If you like black metal, and you like the more adventurous and experimental side of things, this is the album for you. If you like flesh ripping, schizophrenic madness, this is also the album for you. My final word is to listen to this for yourself, digest it and bang your head.