Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Countess - Permafrost (1992)

Often, some of the best Black Metal has been raw, primitive and ugly. What some bands may lack in musicianship, they make up for in atmosphere and a genuine feeling. In the case of the Permafrost demo, released in 1992 by Countess, there is no such saving grace. Much like the majority of the band's output, this is rather terrible and not worth listening to.

The only positive things about this demo would have to be the lo-fi production and the strong reverence for Bathory. Unfortunately, the songwriting is really under-developed and the musicianship is absolutely horrid. The guitar riffs are disjointed and mistimed. The drumming is so inept that it makes the old Mütiilation demos seem overly technical. These guys show a complete lack of coordination with their own instruments and with one another. There exists a certain amount of room for primitive playing within Black Metal, but this is just unskilled playing at its worst. The worst offender is the Bathory cover, where the instruments seem to be playing different songs. This feeling prevails throughout the rest of the material, but it is most clear on this track since the original serves as a point of reference. It's so immensely incompetent that it's embarrassing to listen this. Even the worthless acoustic parts are out of tune and poorly played.

Countess always was a rather worthless band, and Permafrost is a good example of this. Avoid this trash and spend your time and money seeking out and listening to better quality music. Some of the best Black Metal has been created by people that were not technical wizards when it came to musicianship, but some level of competence is expected. To actually record music and to distribute it, prior to even learning how to handle the instruments, is just ridiculous. If this was supposed to be a tribute to Bathory, all they did was disrespect Quorthon's legacy, because this is a joke.