Sinister by name and sinister by nature, watch out the ghoules are back in town. If you have a certain song going round in your head after reading that line, wipe it out now. This lot are in no way throwing down a normal metal gauntlet that is like said earworm, they are a mysterious and frankly odd Polish entity who have never done things straight. As they have proven over 4 albums and various splits and EP’s they can’t do a 3 minute song in the slightest. Take for example last double album ‘Coven, or Evil Ways Instead of Love’ a black rock opera that stretched over two discs and 100 minutes. It fair did the old head in and it was no surprise that I took a deep breath before going in here even though this one is just over half that length. Comprising of just 5 tracks over 55 minutes there is no limiting the sprawl of the numbers themselves here, this is still an at times torturous lesson designed to challenge even the most ardent of listener.
At just 7 minutes opener ‘Children Of The Moon’ starts this lunar worship with one note strummed in doom laden repetitiveness as vocalist Mark Of The Devil takes us through a gamut of emotions and ever macabre moods. The vibe of ancient witchery as we tread this dark path cloaks this stygian atmosphere but if you want to put it in simple terms this one is a bit of a plodder and even at short length, by this lots standards, it really wears you down. There be ghosties and goblins lurking towards the end of it bringing strange spells to it all, and adding a bit of depth and curiosity. A slow pound similar to ancient Beherit takes us into ‘Woods Of Power’, fair enough they have just ritualistically drawn down the moon. Finally the music speeds up after a wild yell is unleashed and gallops off. Primitivism goes with the drum battery and as the mushrooms seemingly kick in old Mark OTD gets ever more lunatic and unhinged with his parts. This is a vocalist you simply have to hear to believe and the theatricality behind his performance is second to none and does make the group stand out somewhat; you definitely couldn’t perform music like this straight, in any fashion of the sense.
“Doom, doom, doom” are the words hollowed out by our nutty singer as the blasphemous ‘Day Of Joy’ brings terror to anyone looking for musical happiness. The bass definition is thick and that’s another good thing here as player Minski really uses the low end like a proper instrument, thickening things out. Still this is hard going and endless and many may find themselves lost in these woods amidst the slow turgid pace and sudden surges in panic etched velocity with gibbering madness following every step of the way from the vocals. And so it continues somewhat frustratingly. There are plenty of moments that those looking for structure will think songs are long past their sell by date and should have been brought to natural conclusion but again they lumber on with false endings becoming all the more perplexing. Is that a snore when we finally arrive at the end of Joy, well some may say that it is quite ironic in its placement?
Some look upon CDG as bordering on genius, to others their songs are indeed nightmares made flesh, whatever way you approach their eccentricities and craft they are not the easiest band to get to grips with and by the time you get to the conclusion of ‘Where The Rainbow Ends’ some may well be wondering if they are ever going to dare give the album another spin. To be fair though there’s probably a lot more chance of doing so than its predecessor.
(7/10 Pete Woods)