Longest Post Title Ever
Ah, some New England Black Metal (NEBM). OK, that's not actually a thing. It just so happens that Eternal Death sent me two CD's, in the mail. (I think they may also use stone arrowheads to hunt.) These CD's happen to be from black metal bands out of New England, but the two have very little in common.
First, Grue. This is a two-piece out of Boston. The music on full-length Casualty of the Psychic Wars lands somewhere between Brooklyn and the Ukraine. By which I mean, if you weren't paying close attention you could believe it was a side project of people in Krallice or Drudkh. I, for one, think that's pretty cool. The first two tracks are fast-paced and quite excellent. There is an over-long interlude featuring cello and that instrument that makes the rustic "boing" sound. (Is that a Jew's harp? I'm not sure what that is. Is it a problem to mention Drudkh and Jews in the same paragraph?) After that, there are two tracks that are somewhat slower, and less enticing than the fast songs but still good.
Then, Bog of the Infidel, which gives us a bigger band but a shorter release. This is a five-piece out of Providence with an EP to share. The superlatively-named To Corrupt Your Sons and Lust After Your Daughters is of the more aggressive, in-your-face variety of black metal. It's about as mature and arty as the refined cover art might suggest. So, you know, if you're looking for hipsters, they're not around.* The first track is an acoustic intro. Then "Burnt Offerings" makes a convincing case for the band, especially when you get to the solo. The other two tracks are ultimately forgettable, but you're not going to turn it off for boredom's sake either.
I have no business directly comparing two releases that are so different, in both scope and style, but I find in favor of Grue. The music is simply more memorable and more varied. But if Bog of the Infidel started throwing around more of those solos, this would be a very different story.
Casualty of the Psychic Wars: 3.5 out of 5 stars
To Corrupt Your Sons and Lust After Your Daughters: 3 out of 5 stars
* However, I don't think we're far from the day when hipsters start wearing blatantly blasphemous T-shirts "ironically." Brace yourselves.