“II: Shapeshifting”

By Octopi Mills

BLACK TOTEM shows up in my banks tonight like something one needed to remember the good old days when SAMHAIN was the most important. Halloween was different back then...dangerous times and places. There are DANZIG forms of worship and homage going on here that are nearly too much, but, by God, I'd take it over the staleness and monotony of the usual new albums made today. It is having fun here, and perhaps too much fun at other’s expense to be taken too seriously but I suppose that's not the point here. There is a strong, strong inspiration of Glen Danzig here that can never be denied and yet there is a mentioning of VENOM and CELTIC FROST in the promotional content. I suppose there is merit to this in terms of an attitude.

There's also a fair amount of horsing around..of cutting class so to speak. There is humor in the songs. "Blood Stained Owl" bears testament to this statement. There's another called "Black Nekro Gloves" that sounds like it came from Lodi, USA. The intelligent "Ghoul of Crow Swamp" wants to go places it has been, and never tired of. After a while one knows this has to be some sort of put on, and they seem to have a damn good time doing all this here. I can see someone getting cut open by a broken bottle for mouthing off things and it makes me want to punch somebody too, God-damn-it!

Finland has done this and if it only makes me chuckle and then renew my SAMHAIN collection, then that is not so terrible.