Sunday, March 04, 2012

Countess: On Wings of Defiance (2011)

Technically, They Outrank Baroness

Countess is a black metal band out of the Netherlands who have been kicking around since 1993, a feat which is in itself astounding. They are number 127 on the Metal Archives, out of over 83,000, which is pretty significant in itself. The band has released a whopping 13 full-length albums, as well as a couple EPs and a split. Sole current member Orlok contacted me with a review copy of their latest, On Wings of Defiance.

Naming your band after another band is a tried-and-true metal tradition, going back at least as far as Saint Vitus choosing their name after a Black Sabbath song in 1980. While it may seem rash to jump to the conclusion Countess are named for Bathory, it becomes pretty obvious when you see the font and the album art. And when you hear the music, it’s proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

A band that started in 1993 could have been at the forefront of black metal. They could have shaped the sound. But instead, this sounds like a second- (or third-) tier Bathory clone, with strong Venom influence.

I wish all the best to them. It takes a true metal warrior to keep at something like this for 20 years. But I don't need to listen past the third song to know that I've heard this before, and heard it better. I issue summary judgment against On Wings of Defiance.

Buy: The Basar

1 comment:

  1. That's disappointing. I perked up at the possibility of some good, Bathory-esque material. I don't need to listen to a knock-off, though.