Prezir – Serbian for Contempt are a three piece from Milwaukee Wisconsin who worship at the black altar of Early 90’s extremity. They cite Emperor, Enslaved, Grand Belials Key and Deicide amongst their influences and seek to show contempt for modern metal. Hmmmm.
It would appear part of their contempt for modern metal is using a producer that knows what they are doing , deciding to handle it themselves for that kvlt DIY edge. (For that read tinny drums and wasp in a bottle guitars). So far so demo – but that garners extra Troo points in the Top Trumps world of extremity these days.
The album begins with an acoustic track “This is How God loves You” which features a tinny sample telling of a rape of a young girl by a priest. It is played for shock and awe rather than making a wider statement about religion and abuse and as such comes across as crass and benign rather than the biting Bentonesque comment I think they were hoping for. First track proper “Devotee Decree” is a mishmash of black and death metal held together by wafer thin riffs. The vocal style flits between early death metal and very early Emperor but with little conviction. The sound is muddy and uneven rather than cold and stark. “Holy Men of Putridity” is more of the same but built around a spiralling top heavy guitar sound. This track holds in its hands more atmosphere than those that came before but the hollow drum sound gives it an air of passionless folly – something I do not believe is what the trio were trying to convey.
Just as I think there is little hope to be found here “The Legend of the Five Suns” drops. Now this I can get behind. The rawness feels real. The passion is evident and my right hand can go into orange squeezing meltdown. This sounds like a great, lost BM demo from the early 90’s. All nihilistic passion and drunken hatred. Great. The solo in the middle is awful but good awful if you know what I mean. “Dar al Harb” that follows has a hint of Eastern Promise – a la Nile not Fry’s Turkish Delight. There are even hints of Cradle of Filth’s early works in the guitar arrangement and vocal stylings. Maybe it should be Dan Al Harb?
“Serpents in the House of Ra” continues the theme . A thrashing rip roaring trip round the pyramids ensues and rounds off the better second half of this E.P.
This band love the past sure but our ears shouldn’t have to put up with the sound of 4th generation tape copies. A flawed release made even more so by awful production. Less Kvlt and clutter more riffs and shmutter please guvnor. Contemptuous.
(3/10 Matt Mason)