Emptiness – Error (Dark Descent Records)

Monday, 25th March 2013
Rating: 6.5/10

Prior to the advent of Pro Tools and the preponderance of crystal-clear production jobs, having a little grit to one’s album was acceptable. Of course, in the black metal world it’s a necessary evil, but once you start to work your way out of the black arts and into more focused styles of metal, it’s harder to reconcile with an album sounding like uh, crap. Holding up that end of the bargain is Belgium’s Emptiness, who on their third platter Error, personify the term “sub-standard production.”

The band’s hazy, almost stoner-induced death metal is also at fault for Error’s rather tedious and boring countenance. For the most part, the songs unearth relatively simple-minded black metal riffs, yet are played at a slower speed. Strange, because two members of black metal stalwarts Enthroned are in the ranks – Phorgath and Olve. Nevertheless, the loose and bogged-down tempos of “Deafer,” “It and I,” and “Not Enough” are instant cause for concern, with the trio having little or no emphasis on dynamics. The album’s few saving graces are “Dissolution” (cue uptick in tempo) and “Error” (enter melodies). Unfortunately, the bulk of Error is a rough and ragged listen.

The dissonant and discordant nature of Error practically prevents it from becoming digestible in any way. It’s about as discomforting of a listen as one will hear all year, so perhaps it might be good to place this one in the “For masochists only” file.

 www.emptiness.be

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)