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Cemetary – Phantasma


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Returning to his erstwhile label and band name after several years adrift at Century Media as the pseudonymous Sundown (the title of the last Cemetary album before the change) and quite dumbly named Cemetary 1213, Mathias Lodmalm has made a career of not making things easy for himself. The underground is littered with the flesh and gristle of bands whose gradual evolution from out-and-out death metal to gothic frilliness has been played out under the same moniker to the wrath of the brutal faithful. Depending on one�s sentiment, it�s a career move demarcated either by utter bravura or abject daftness, or both. So after four years in absentia and nearly forgotten by all but me, Lodmalm continues the forays into industrial-metal realms he first took circa 1997. In fact, they�re realms he�s never left. Black Mark Records, cover art by Kristian Wahlin, you get the idea. The datedness does have a charm all its own, with opener Far From God bouncing in an uptempo blend of guitar and electronic synth like prime VNV Nation, Funker Vogt, etc. Follow-up Plasma Phantasma provides more gravitas, with a death-croaked chorus unused by Lodmalm for at least the past four albums. Somewhere around the fifth track, however, things just go pear-shaped, most tracks thereafter loafing at a near-crawl and being pummelled into lethargic obviousness by an all-too-Mansonesque glam-rasp. Second Last to Nowhere redeems the proceedings briefly, with an infectious, danceable blend of androgyny and atmosphere, but it�s hampered by a pointless, false ending. The ensuing three tracks all succumb to lethal sluggishness and, when placed back to back to back, serve to kill any last-minute reprieve I�d have been only too willing to reward this album if the situation had righted itself. Ultimately, this record suffers from the excess of thought wrought on all works given too many years in production (a problem which has likely befallen the endlessly delayed Guns �N� Roses and Celtic Frost newies). However, given more efforts toward originality in the electronics department and a sensible deadline to provide a sense of urgency, the next album will hopefully reverse the effect of this noble misfire. Track listing: 1. Far From God 2. Plasma Phantasma 3. Basic Black 4. Down Cold 5. Coma Burn 6. 2nd Last To Nowhere 7. Wavecell 8. Drowning Out The World 9. Tapes of Their Voices

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Black Mark

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