|©2007 Dark Essence Records
1. The Pills of Conformity
2. Blood Donít Flow Streamlined
3. A Path of Infamy
5. The Benevolent Pawn
6. The Crumbling Realm
7. To Sever the Hand of Corruption
8. Grim Apparition
In the early 1990s, the trend among Scandinavian metal bands was to out-evil each other via extra-musical activities and/or sanctimonious imagery/lyrical content. As the 1990s progressed, the trend was to out-atmosphere each other as more and more bands started to incorporate keyboards and acoustic guitars (among other things) into the mix. Finally, towards the end of the 90s, the freaks started to emerge at a faster rate and more and more bands were taking a turn for the avant-garde or, in some cases, the downright weird. With the recent dissolution of Arcturus and with Solefald going down a substantively straightforward road with their last two albums, the intriguingly named Vulture Industries emerges, presumably with the hope of occupying the space Arcturus left open, with their debut, The Dystopia Journals.
The Dystopia Journals sounds like the album Arcturus would have released had Garm stayed in the band following the release of The Sham Mirrors. Weíre not just talking about a homage of some sort. The album borders on outright plagiarism. Everything down to the guitar riffs to the occasional odd electronic flourish to Bjornar Erevik Nilssonís spot-on Garm impersonation; it sounds like Arcturus. Granted, there are some slight differences in overall tone; the production on a whole is a hell of a lot better than the shrill sonics found on The Sham Mirrors, the riffs are heavier overall, and Nilsson will unleash a blackened rasp here and there, but if one's goal is to be unique in a field of imitators, why imitate?. Thereís obviously a bevy of talent on display here that would be put to much better use had the band just took what it needed and gone with their collective gut. They simply try too damn hard, and, as Maria Callas said, no one ever paid to see you try.
Review by Alec A. Head
Review date: 04/2009