Peccatum - The Moribund People - 2005 - The End Records
1.The Moribund People 2. A Penny's Worth of Heart 3. For All Those Who Died
The name of Ihsahn is a very well known one in extreme music circles. He has been involved with countless projects over the years, most notably black metal legends Emperor.
Peccatum, one of his more recent pursuits, has little to do with black metal at all. Instead, the band focuses on producing a haunting brand of symphonic, avant-garde metal. The second half of the band is made up of one Ihriel, a female vocalist who also plays some of the keyboards. Aside from the drums, which are handled by a session member, Ihsahn is in charge of all the other instruments and contributes some vocals as well. Usually we hear his typical blackened rasp, but he does some clean singing as well.
The Moribund People is a rather short release, and EP containing only three tracks. Both “The Moribund People” and “A Penny’s Worth of Heart” have a dark, atmospheric, and almost surreal feeling. Spooky keyboard ambiances coupled with shredding guitars and alternating male/female vocals give the tracks a truly eerie feeling. “For All Those Who Have Died” is a Bathory cover, and it is executed in an unorthodox albeit interesting way. Although the general rhythm of the song remains, the arrangement Peccatum have used incorporates their unique style. At first, all we hear is piano and Ihriel’s soft voice; later on the guitars kick in and Ihsahn begins to shriek. The second half of the cover sounds more similar to Quorthorn’s version, yet it still contains a distinct Peccatum twist.
Peccatum’s style is extremely enjoyable and would probably appeal to any fan of avant-garde or extreme music. Half of me wishes this was a full-length release, since I have been enjoying it so much – just means I’ll have to get my hands on a few of their albums. Since The Moribund People is an EP and not a full-length I won’t give it a rating, but suffice it to say that Ihsahn and Ihriel’s explorations into the experimental world were quite successful.
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