I Shalt Become - Poison
Moribund Cult
Symphonic Black Metal
10 songs (55'09")
Release year: 2010
Moribund Cult
Reviewed by Alex

I have never willingly used drugs, but having had my knee reconstructed twice, I elected to do an epidural both times so I could see what it is the hell they were doing to my joint. Both times the smart surgeon managed to inject something else into my regional anesthesia which made me feel oblivious to the circumstances and full of weird unfounded euphoria.

Long-time running (but on hold for a while) USBM outfit I Shalt Become does remind me of that feeling on many of their tracks on Poison. This bizarre manic triumph, translated through succession of oozy liquid riffs, fills up the album towards the end in Doubt, The Finest Cut of the Scalpel and Absolve Me. The closer track becomes more vocalized as well, starting to sing demented hosannas and shifting a bit away from the more instrumental approach with a rare piercing shriek seen earlier.

Poison, however, is far away from glee and exaltation all the time, it isn’t some ecstatic blackened form of Beethoven’s Apasionata. Before the final warmth is injected in the veins I Shalt Become goes through a range of emotions, with passion raging on The Swarming of the Locusts to the tenderness of cornered beast on Ghosts to constant pervasive sense of trepidation and upcoming tragedy throughout most of the album. It is if the good doctor, instead of the “happy drug”, reached for something causing claustrophobia and anxiety.

I Shalt Become does rely on synthesized music to express itself, but the one-man crew S. Holliman does not come across as less muffled, cleaner version of Xasthur, and is closer to the recent Blut Aus Nord, will appeal to the fans of Shining and even reminds me a little bit of more tragedy-filled, less orchestral Lacrimosa. Not all clean and symphonic (like Like a Lamb to the Slaughter..., Harlow's Vertical Chamber Apparatus), the soundtrack of Poison is, nevertheless, constantly eerie, persistently maintaining the pressure. Synth or real strings, an excellent example of this growing tension is No Quarter at the Somme, where the sounds dance on your nerves and drown the mind. Periodic detunage, the slightest rattling in the brain may lead to this album accepted as a B-horror movie music recording or the threshold to insanity.

In the end, I want to change my analogy, and the album’s title itself helps. After all, when the physician uses a drug on you, he is always trying to relieve the unease and apprehension. Poison, on the opposite, is like a bite of an exotic insect when you are all alone in the wild, with no hospital around the corner. You feel fretful, the glacial keys of I Shalt Become freezing the blood in your veins in anticipation of the inescapable demise. But then, the chemical from the sting takes over and you slip into oblivion, a hazy blanket wafting over your mind. Such is I Shalt Become Poison – symphonic, black, for sure, but bound to mess with your mental capacities. Proceed with caution.

Killing Songs :
Harlow's Vertical Chamber Apparatus, Ghosts, The Swarming of the Locusts
Alex quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by I Shalt Become that we have reviewed:
I Shalt Become - Louisiana Voodoo reviewed by Andy and quoted 84 / 100
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