So what are we to think of this pure, unholy black metal from Israel? Well for starters, taking into consideration their country of origin doesnt mean a whole lot. Whether youre from Israel, South Africa, New Zealand or Paraguay, if youre black metal, youll probably still sound Norwegian. Originality, you see, isnt one of the tenets of the black. Everyone roughly plays in the same fashion. High-end guitar production (and by high-end, I mean usually heavy on the treble), cymbal crashing blastbeats and grunts, screams and/or moans. Rinse. Repeat.
By that standard, Tangorodrim measure up to others in the genre and as such, isnt bad. This just isnt to say that theyre particularly good, either. For a band to stand out in the black arts takes dedication. Not necessarily to honing their skills as musicians, but to become blacker than black. More extreme. None more black. Tangorodrim (yes, its a Tolkien reference, you geek) are only taking baby steps into the blackpool. And with this being their fourth full-length album since 1996, this puts them behind the times. Now a two-piece, the band doesnt seek to provide anything different from their predecessors and while not overly derivative, nonetheless provide an album devoid of any real quality to speak of.
Coming from the (un)holy land gives them one more disadvantage, however - the lyrics, scary though they may be if youre from Tel Aviv, lose something in the translation, punctuated by my favorite cliché in foreign metal music - the inappropriate exclamation point (as evidenced in the title track):
I am standing in naked forest worshiping the clean ones! / They smell nice, I have to take a shower / Were clean and bloody shower for my soul / I cant survive without it!
Lets pause and digest that, for a moment shall we? As we read further on, we find lyrics that make more sense, but still
I am ready to carry that cross but only if its made of priest bones / Only if it weighted a ton of holly (sic) intestines / Red magnet draws me near
Did you just get a piss shiver? Me too.
Look, theres worse entries in the genre, and Justus Ex Fide Vivit will hardly taint the formidable Southern Lord legacy, but believe you me, theres a whole lot better on the roster than Tangorodrim. If youre a fan of the label you probably wont be disappointed with the album on the first couple of listens, but I somehow doubt youll play it much more than that.
6.9 / 10
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