Et In Saecula Saeculorum
With Negative Plane I am confronted with an interesting though sometimes confusing vision. This American Black metal band is trudging down similar roads that a lot of the avant-garde European acts such as Deathspell Omega are starting to explore. Negative Plane are pushing the boundaries and constantly rewriting what is an acceptable shade of Darkness. They have carved out and spliced together many different styles and sonic textures upon a framework of utter darkness. At times it is a brilliant site to behold such as on the beginning of Staring into the Abyss. At other times though it almost seems a little haphazard and sloppy but I sort of view it as a stream of conscious writing approach that enhances the chaotic insanity of a mind searching the blackened abyss for a sense of meaning and looking to behold the face of Satan staring back into their deadened eyes. The riffs are never boring and are sometimes even a little quirky which keeps Et In... interesting and my attention is held firmly by each successive song. There is not a lot of repetition at all on this album. Once a unseen horror of a riff rears its ugly head it fades just as soon into some other unfathomable depth as for instance the doom-ridden march on Death Mass which is suddenly over taken by the hiss off the incessant drumming and the ceaseless moan of the wailing guitar. These guys can certainly entrance my mind though like on the haunting opening to Unhallowed Ground where that minimal guitar and whispered vocals make the skin crawl on neck. Nameless Void's vocals are kind of odd and are unlike anyone's vocals I can think within the scene and add to that he has a near constant delay on them for added effect. Another thing that I think makes this album seem a little slapped together is the production. Somehow the different instruments just miss being fused as a single entity. But this is something I can easily over look as it is not even remotely near the disaster that was Krisiun's Ageless Venomous. Negative Plane have made a solid effort here that gives me hope that they will manage to sew all the differing elements together successfully and make their next album transcend from the status of dreamlike terror to nightmarish utter fright! Basically all I am saying is this album was really good but could use some improvement and I think that Negative Plane will succeed on their next attempt.