"Towards The Baphomet's Throne"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Somewhere a damned soul is screaming, as he is forced to listen to unoriginal black metal endlessly in Hell. Perhaps one of the many selections used to torment this soul will be "Towards The Baphomet's Throne" from Fiends At Feast.

Mayhap I am being a tad harsh on these dour lads, because this is far from the worst produced or played slab of BM I've heard. They seem to be trying hard. However, when it comes to a total lack of identity and a half-hearted trudge through the frozen slush of "true black metal", it will be hard to beat this. From the cliched intro of screaming victims to the "heard it all before" riffs of "After The Gates of Hell", we know what we're in for with Fiends At Feast. Even buy-all black metallers will be hard-pressed to pull this out of their collection for a play in a month.

Individually, some of the songs are more than passable, especially the longer ones such as "Walls of Worship" and "Hedonistic Heresy". Those do create a kind of mesmerizing, droning effect. But it's not enough to offset tired tunes like "I Am Death" and "From Hell They Rise". All the parts are present for a better than average black metal band, but they aren't being pushed together with any sense of freshness or urgency. I mean, they took the title of this album from a Samael song more than 20 years old!

Much blacker...and better...albums await.