Takes this new Plutonium album for example. I've though about Tiamat, I've thought about Immortal, I've though about Ministry. Hell, I've even thought of Triarii, The Kovenant and Limbonic Art. This Swedish band reminds of loads of bands but I can't seem to put a finger on it. I do know that I like this album and maybe, in the end, that's all that matters. Get ready for a strange journey through extreme metal obscurity.
At first, yes, you can easily say that this is a black metal act. That was my first thought too when I listened to opener 'Born Again Misanthrope'. Yet, gradually, I started noting the hypnotic repetitiveness of the music which came in an immersive mid-tempo range. There was something industrial here, but I didn't know exactly what. Then, halfway through 'The Inverted Panopticon Experience', it struck me and I thought 'this is blackened martial industrial'.
The almost ritualistic percussion gave it away. There is loads more than basic black metal here. So I payed closer attention and realized what a nice amalgamation of genres this really is. More blackened songs followed, all very good examples of Plutonium's capabilities, and then there was 'Renuntiationem', a great dark folk anthem which came quite unexpected. This song is clean, acoustic and enhanced with great soundscapes.
Yet, don't underestimate the trance-inducing brutality of songs like 'Casque Strength' or 'Electronic Barbwire Crown Of Thorns', which drives on old school black metal riffs and drums, along with industrial pummeling power. This act certainly can rock and, at times, the earlier mentioned Tiamat reference isn't so far off. If Plutonium wants to make gloomy gothic rock, Plutonium will undoubtedly succeed in it.
I'm pleasantly surprised by the album because I got way more than I expected when I first saw the cover. After listening to this album a few times, I can honestly recommend it to anyone who's into black metal and to people who like these widely varied crossover genres. I can now only hope that by reading this review, you'll be as confused as I am when I first listened to 'Born Again Misanthrope'. Confusion is good for you...