Exams. Phone calls with my Mum. Sitting in the waiting room at the Doctors. The middle section of The Two Towers (the book). Near Death Revelations (Agonia), third album of Polish black metal act Blaze of Perdition. And the Jeopardy answer is “Things that feel like they go on for a very fucking long time, Alex”. “Congratulations, you’re right!”
OK, so maybe being flippant with an album that has clearly had a lot of work poured into it (and an album that is very well produced and crafted) is harsher than a Dave Hunt vocal, but as lengthy song bleeds into similar sounding lengthy song, it begins to do your head in. When people say the same thing over and over, getting louder each time, you don’t listen more intently, or pay more attention, you become desensitized, and when you check the running order, expecting it to be approaching the end and you’re only halfway through and there’s still another 25 minutes (plus) to go, you know this isn’t an album that will be scooping up Album of the Year accreditations.
2011’s The Hierophant (Pagan Records) positioned Blaze of Perdition as an act who were prepared to challenge the established order of things, Near Death Revelations and its less-theatrical Carach Angrenisms is a regression despite the bludgeon, headbanging stabs and aggression worked into its progressive angles; ‘Cold Morning Fears’, for example, flails and smashes from the outset, like a frost-bitten Formulas Fatal To The Flesh (Earache) Morbid Angel halted in their tracks before making a Grand Declaration of War (Necropolis).
It does have to be said that Blaze of Perdition are a very proficient band, who deal in progressive, discordant bastardized (once was) black metal with a gritty quasi mechanized metallic bent, almost as if they are the realization (and extension) of what Gehenna were trying to do with Admiron Black (Moonfog). Credit is also due to their refusal to be destroyed by adversity, following the death of bassist Ikaroz and the severe injuries suffered by vocalist Sonnellion and drummer Vizun. However, Near Death Revelations is a (seemingly endless) repetition of the same new, same new; bashing your head against the same brick wall again and again until you become numbed to the sonic overload.