Riff mark: 1:09
Grand declaration of something, all right. Maybe the most wayward, ADHD-driven black metal recording I’ve heard since an Abruptum single. The ideas are plentiful and barely contained, exploding leftward in clusters of supernova riffs, which are segmented by some really large energy-sucking black holes, big enough to ruin fucking everything. How far do these event horizons stretch? At one point (and I had to verify my copy with a recording on Youtube just to make sure my CD wasn’t screwed) there’s five minutes of complete recorded silence. It’s not a space for an impending bonus track; this deliberation spans two songs. This isn’t meditative; it’s insulting, but nowhere as much to the purist fanbase as the trip-hop track carelessly plopped in the middle of everything (it’s tremendously bad, both here and as standalone trip-hop). More stylistic mishaps: WAY too much “drummer boy in civil war” snare rolling. Vocalist Maniac…fuck it, just listen to the guy. Half of the time he’s doing this this quasi-aggressive commander/preacher deal that comically sounds like David Byrne (I’ve actually read the David Byrne comparison from more than one critic, but it’s true. Hey, while on topic, why not listen to Talking Heads? Nothing but great albums and songs. One of my all-time favorites. Be a Talking Metalhead). There’s so much shit to sift through just to enjoy anything on Grand Declaration of War, its schizophrenic sandblasters minutes apart for seconds at a time. A real black metal blue-ball. Worth a spin for Hellhammer’s inhuman drumfest (sans parrrr-rum pum pum pum).