Black Crucifixion - Faustian Dream
Paragon Records
Dark Metal
9 songs (35'37")
Release year: 2006
Black Crucifixion, Paragon Records
Reviewed by Alex

One night I had a dream. I was dreaming that I was no longer a chemist, but now studying at a med school in hopes of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. I just had my second knee surgery and that very well might have been the reason. I woke up and asked my wife if it would be a great risk to start a new career. In the end I never worked up enough courage to do so.

One night Black Crucifixion also had a dream. Having come up with a few seminal short Black Metal recordings, this Finnish band from the remote Lapplandian city of Rovaniemi dreamed up that they were done with occult and Satanism, therefore Black Metal was no longer an instrument of choice for them. Unlike me, Black Crucifixion acted upon their dream. It took only 10 short years to try and come up with another recording. I do not know if the entry exists in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest time to record an album, but Faustian Dream must be pushing it. A lesser group of man would have given up long ago, but once you have a dream … Here is to perseverance, and let’s hope my critique would be fair.

Dark metal is a term that can be debated endlessly. Perhaps, half of all metal recordings can be considered dark in nature. Faustian Dream is certainly no bright or happy record, its rocking tunes full of gloom and intransigent coldness. The stage is set from the opening title track intro, where piano-guitar-bass interplay first grows symphonic, with the organ setting in and piano sounding like fall season speeding cold rain droplets. Would one venture to step outside or curl inside seeking shelter?

If you opted for the former Black Crucifixion will take you on a trip where cranky depression rules. Guitar riffs lay the foundation for the album. They are doomy bricks on Bible Black Tyrant, syncopated, almost progressive on As Black As the Roses or the monster completely dominating the domain on Winterkill. Very withdrawn, depressive melodies flow over this heavy base, prodded along by a stubborn, not yielding rhythm section, which is full of drum fills and interesting patterns if you decide to pay attention (Frailest). Synthesizer use is quite common on Faustian Dream, which only adds to a cold gloomy ominous tone hinting at losing interest in existence.

Not as up front and suicidal as Sentenced, Black Crucifixion glides along mostly mid-tempo, unfolding their story in a manner similar to how another Finnish band The Black League used to do it. The attempt to rock out (Wrath Without Hate, Where Will You Hide) is squashed by Winterkill and buried by a shot of reverb piano melancholy in the form of aptly titled Scandinavian Melancholy. The record proceeds almost too steadily, without any lows, but without apparent highs either.

To complete the picture Forn’s vocals range from clean weeping voice (Black Bible Tyrant, Frailest) to practically spoken neurotic phrases (Where Will You Hide). He does sound withdrawn and completely dejected, bringing an excellent reference point in The Astral Sleep and Wildhoney (minus all of the electronic elements)-era Tiamat. I can’t help but feel that Forn is a tad too theatrical, some time imagining how Faustian Dream would have sounded if Taneli Jarva was asked to lend his set of scratchier vocal chords.

This has got to be very difficult to bring out your almost a lifetime worth of work as a musician in nine tunes, and then expose it all bare for the world to see. Faustian Dream feels as a much internalized record, offering only glimpses of a group of people stuck somewhere above the North Pole where the sun does not shine half the year. You can try traveling through the caverns of Black Crucifixion collective soul, especially if the works of The Black League, Sentenced and post-black Katatonia, with a heavier bottom end, a la Black Sabbath, rock your world.

Killing Songs :
Bible Black Tyrant, Winterkill, Scandinavian Melancholy
Alex quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Black Crucifixion that we have reviewed:
Black Crucifixion - The Fallen One of Flames reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
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