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Altar - And God Created Satan to Blame for His Mistakes (Reissue)

And God Created Satan to Blame for His Mistakes (Reissue)
by Gabriel “Svrtr” Zimmerman at 05 July 2017, 6:48 AM

For a band to breakup and get together is not highly uncommon, but to do that twice becomes somewhat rare, and doing so can sometimes create a pain in finding modern and accurate information. Enter the Dutch Death metal band ALTAR, who reformed the band again back in 2014, and who are presenting a reproduced track of their debut demo "And God Created Satan to Blame for His Mistakes," with a series of live playthroughs from their 1993 tour in Rotterdam. This will be a short one today with only 4 tracks, so let us dive right in. The album opens with “Throne of Fire”, and right off the bat it evokes a sort of twisted perversion of religion with its angelic choir turned screaming hell tortured souls, though right after which it dives deep into old school death metal in a straight forward sense. It begins off a bit rocky and a bit boring as it opts for rapidly  changing riffs and sounds that seem to bear little connection with  each other, sometimes randomly throwing in a heavy focus on the lead guitars, yet towards the middle it picks up a structure and great riff that is admittedly a bit simple yet very headbang-able, continuing with building up in intensity while retaining its composure, and from here on it remains much stronger. Yet the opening 2 minutes really put a bit of a damper. This paradoxical state of being is rather annoying, for on one hand the song created a great sound later on but was rather boring before that.

Meanwhile, “Forced Imprudence” starts out much more focused, albeit at a much slower pace and as well playing almost more like a Black Metal track. It does momentarily become much faster paced and more like Death Metal, but just as abruptly as  it started it reverts to the incredibly gloomy Black Metal sound, then back again to  the faster Death Metal sound again. From here on it remains consistent and rather enjoyable in its pacing and general sound and progression, featuring great drum work, strong guitar riffs, and an enjoyable yet short lived guitar solo, yet this earlier arbitrary choice in changing sounds detracts from the track overall. Therein lies my largest gripes with the song. It again is strong for the latter half of the track but seems to contain odd and arbitrary design choices for the first half that seem to bear no reason for their placement and cause the song to be a bit audibly boring. To keep “Psycho Damn” short, it is very composed and focused and sounds well enough but is nothing special, most lacking perhaps in  creativity. “Cross the Bridge of False Prophecies/Dismantling the God”, however, is undoubtedly my favorite track on the album. It does well to often sound interesting, also often changing style while remaining focused, though this can likely at least partly be chalked up to its long duration. My major gripes would be ones of artistic choice really, nothing that can be touted as a universal constant that is undoubtedly separate from personal taste. It can become somewhat monotonous at times, though this is not a huge problem due to the continuous change in sound. In regards to its long time however, sometimes this can also serve as its downfall as there are times where corners could be cut for brevity and carrying it out makes it head towards the border of sounding boring. Regardless, I consider this to be the highlight track of the four original tracks.

Overall, ALTAR feels very middle of the road. Decent songs songs that are half good and half bad, and feeling monotonous at times and lacking in creativity. Perhaps their reforming again and age old existence could help to create a unique and interesting style that they can continue with, as a niche is often a big thing in such a varied genre like metal. As always, I wish them the best of endeavors in the future but I cannot highly rate this album.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Memorability: 4
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. Throne of Fire
2. Forced Imprudence
3. Psycho Damn
4. Cross the Bridge of False Prophecies/Dismantling the God
5. Forced Imprudence (Live in Rotterdam 93)
6. Psycho Damn (Live  in Rotterdam 93)
7. Cauterize the Church (Live in Rotterdam 93)
8. Jesus is Dead (LIve in Rotterdam 93)
9. Cross the Bridge of False Prophecies/Dismantling the God  (Live in Rotterdam 93)
10. Throne of Fire (Live in Rotterdam 93)
Marcel Verdurmen - Guitar
Bas van den Bogaard - Bass
Wilfred Hake - Drums
Janneke de Rooy - Vocals
Bas Karman - Guitar
Record Label: Doc-Agency


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