Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fine Red Mist - Depressive Holocaust

I don’t know about you, but I tend to associate depressive black metal with places like Norway, Sweden, Canada – places with shitty winter weather and short days. Florida certainly isn’t a place I’d consider, but that’s exactly where Fine Red Mist originates from. To be honest, I’m not too sure what there’s to be depressed about in a place as pleasantly warm as Florida. Too many old people maybe? Anyways, I haven’t exactly been subtle about my general disdain for one man bands. Sure, it’s awesome when it works, but most of the time the band member can usually only play one or two instruments with any degree of competency. The best option for a one man band is something simplistic and repetitive, which is exactly what Fine Red Mist’s Depressive Holocaust is.

Depressive Holocaust’s sound is built around the repetition of just a few heavily distorted, lethargic riffs over usually slow, muted drum work and low and distant moans. Think a slower, less skilled version of Burzum’s “Dunkelheit” and you won’t be too far off. There are occasional diversions from this formula, like the short section of more aggressive drumming and some surprisingly adventurous riffing on “Blight the Earth”, but these are pretty infrequent. The thick guitars create a dense wall of noise that envelopes the listener. It’s somewhat trance inducing, and even though the album is just half an hour long, it feels much shorter than its already short length. KaosChrist makes use of synths throughout the album, but it’s hardly distracting or overbearing most of the time. The high pitch does grate a bit on “A Fool’s Game”, but for the most part it furthers the trance like atmosphere of the music.

The music in Depressive Holocaust is hardly what one would call skillful or difficult, but it has that mysterious ability to make time disappear. While listening to this album I’ve found myself missing turns while driving, forgetting to take food off the stove, and simply standing around several times. Not because of fantastic musicianship or technical displays of skill that leave me struck dumb, but because of how utterly consuming the music is. It’s all too easy to forget yourself while listening to Depressive Holocaust, but that’s really all the album has going for it. There’s more than a hint of depression in the instrumentals and vocals, which one would expect given the name, but it’s not of the in your face – kill yourself variety like Xasthur or Silencer, but more of the distanced and emotionally empty type; nice for the rain and snow of winter, which Florida lacks incidentally, without going overboard.

Honestly, Depressive Holocaust isn’t all that unique or special. After the first minute or so, you’ll know exactly what to expect from the rest of the album and if it’ll be something you’d enjoy. If you’re a fan of DSBM you could certainly do worse than listening to Depressive Holocaust. That said, you could do far better as well. In any case, it’s not something to obsess over; there are plenty of higher quality releases you should pick up before this one. It’s not a bad album by any means, but where there’s so much out there more deserving of your money, why bother?


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