ALBUM REVIEW: Schammasch – Hearts of No Light

Never judge a book by its cover, kids. It’s a good lesson. Listen to your mother more often, you’ll learn something. I only bring up this time-worn adage because I was too quick and judged Schammasch‘s latest Hearts of No Light (Prosthetic Records) based on the merits of album title and art. What? I saw it and therefore immediately assumed it was another self-important Black Metal release that would ultimately sound like it was recorded in an old washing machine filled with loose gravel, nails and an uncomfortable badger.

You know, the type of shit that the kvlt folk like to jack off to.

I was wrong and would like to apologize. When it comes to sound, I wouldn’t mind more of what Schammasch is cooking up. After the totally unneeded four-minute introduction that is ‘Winds That Pierce the Silence’ we get going with ‘Ego Sum Omega’ and it is readily apparent that Swiss unit has more in common with Emperor than the Burzum horseshit circuit. Just feel the energy, melody (gasp) and urgency radiated off of ‘Rays Like Razors’ and ‘I Burn Within You.’ Ladies and gentlemen, we may have ourselves a good time.

But now we move into the big problem on Hearts of No Light: the self-importance. For all the technical marvel and solid production values do we need time wasters like ‘Winds That Pierce the Silence?’ Why is ‘A Bridge Ablaze’ here? Or better yet, why is ‘Innermost, Lowermost Abyss’ a quarter of an hour-long only to not deliver any of the of the black metal fury in exchange for acoustic guitars and droning noises. It’s not sophisticated as much as it is profoundly uninteresting.

So, we’ve learned a few things today, right? Don’t be so judgmental for one and the guy with long deliberate answers isn’t always the smartest or best.

7 / 10