01 Sweetness Depraved
02 Chains of Bliss
03 Try to Forget Us
05 Ocean I
06 Ocean II
07 Reverse Baptism
Shouldn’t reverse baptism be written msitpab? Msitpab (hint: write the word Baptism in reverse) makes as much sense as the fact a 22-year old, anorexic, nail-polished, lipstick smeared, effeminately looking Goth musician, with a yield of a couple of album or more per year, is trying to teach us about the meaning of pain, suffering and hurt. Ha! The nerve!
Luckily for him, his music is his redeeming tool; his excuse for his outrageous behavior; the absolute contrast to his physical appearance. His music is good for what it is, and yet leaves much to be desired, especially in the authenticity department.
Benighted In Sodom redefines the old saying: do not judge a book by its cover. And indeed, when judged in the most objective manner, Reverse Baptism has its sex appeal; it flirts with melancholic rock, with doom and black metal; it is highly melodic and owns a distinctive sound: a grainy, cold, almost industrial tinge. The vocals are ballsy enough (anyone sees the irony?), the riffs simple yet adequate for this kind of repetitive, hypnosis-inducing melancholia.
However, the rhythm section is a poor excuse for drum-kit imitation. The hideously sounding programmed drums simply kill the music; the few blasts are misplaced and ridiculous; the musical spolia is being used and re-used to death; it’s almost like listening to the very same riff repeatedly played in loops, being the fundamental substructure of Benighted In Sodom’s music.
But what is left other than these endless repetitive riffs, anyway? Not much. If you remove them, you are almost left with an empty shell, a scaffold; the music sounds as if it only imitates music, and in turn, imitates life and life’s pains with no authenticity or real empathy; as if it is only the prelude for the real thing – the real thing that never arrives.
So yes, a couple of razor blades are depicted on the album’s cover, being part of the band’s logo. You know, the old school type of razors, the ones our fathers and grandfathers used; the kind which is also the professional wrist cutters’ weapon of choice.
That being said, the existential futility and depravity that is conveyed via the songs, the melancholic facade and even the razor blade representation cannot shake off the feeling this is all a charade; a fake musical effort that deals with plastic feelings and artificial pain. Even if you disregard for a moment the young age of the musician behind this project, from whom we’re supposed to learn the essence of pain, even then the music does not compensate for this pretentious aspiration. It’s as if the musician had been exhausted of ideas (mind you this is the band’s 10th full-length album in seven years of existence and god only knows how many demos, EP’s and compilations have been recorded prior to Reverse Baptism), exhausted of passion for his music, or both.
But even all the passion in the world cannot substitute life’s experience; its ugliness as well as its endless exquisite beauty. Those who lived know. How can they take a project such as Benighted In Sodom seriously? You tell me…Go eat your morning cereals, kid, and come back in fifteen years with some real pain, will you?