|©2000 Forever Underground
1. Possession Of Twilight Shadows
2. Battles Of Armageddon
3. Descending Through Black Moon Skies
4. Baptism By Fire
5. Through Haunted Caverns
6. Seal Of The Dark Legions
7. Season Of The Witch
It's interesting to watch trends within subgenres sweep the globe. Norway and the rest of Scandanavia have already churned through their black metal phase with most of the originators of the genre already moving onto other musical realms. Meanwhile, in the United States, kids who are finally getting ahold of most of those early releases within the genre are now in the process of making their own music and mark on the scene. USBM, as it is called, often is a very raw and ugly skeleton and so far only a handful of band have gained any sort of noteriety. Ezurate, another entry into the field, is yet another United States band plying their evil wares. Unfortunately, this band has the evilness quotient of someone pushing a Sunday school girl into a small puddle of mud.
The layout and feel of Ezurate's debut full length is quite similar to many, many other bands who exist in the monochromatic, anti-warmth realm of black metal. As with labelmates Bloodthrone, all the typical elements are in place and likewise, Ezurate fails to add much depth to what is often an already shallow breeding pool. Ezurate's main offenses are a production that makes the drums far too bright in the mix and buries the guitars so far back that some of their more interesting riffs are diminished in power. The drummer is a major hinderance to the music as most of the time he settles for blast beats where a more inventive, creative rhythm pattern would benefit the music. In other words, his drumming often is conflicting with the music. Meanwhile, the vocals are Norwegian Black Metal Army Surplus, offering your usual condemnation of Christianity and all things happy and good. The guitarists should be very upset with the final mix of this album since they are competent and a couple of these songs show some promise in the riffs.
At the end of the day, Ezurate does little more than show slight potential but Infernal Dominatio does nothing more than frustrate the more discriminating listeners. Raw black metal is a very difficult style to do justice to and Ezurate is unable to join the ranks of Trelldom, Taake or various other current bands who still can pull it off.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 08/2001