It’s raining frequently these days in the part of the world Happy Metal Guy resides in, and Csejthe’s (definitely pronounced: See-ass-e-jay-tee-hage-e) sophomore album is a timely soundtrack to the weather’s moodiness. It’s a different case from the review of another rainy black metal record in April last year. This one actually makes you want to stay warm and dry indoors while listening to it instead of stomping outside in frustration to get cold and drenched in the heavy rain. As the bus rode out into the wet summer night, Happy Metal Guy played this record for a change—he typically plays Revocation or an audio recording of ponies copulating while commuting [Pony porn is illegal in many countries and the staff of AMG do not endorse viewership thereof — Steel Druhm] —and immediately morphed into Sad Metal Guy.
“Unholy Care Bears,” Sad Metal Guy thought. “This is some sad and rainy shit.”
GGGGRRRROOOOOM. Thunder rumbled in agreement. So did the bus engine and Sad Metal Guy’s empty stomach.
“I feel so empty inside,” Sad Metal Guy’s stomach complained. “It’s as though I’m hollow within!”
“Yeah, duh. Maybe that’s because you do have nothing inside of you now,” Sad Metal Guy sneered at his mid-section in response, totally coming off as a lonely loser.
A fork of lightning briefly lit up the dreary sky, followed by yet another one of thunder’s profound proclamations: GGGGRRRRROOOOOOOM!!
Sad Metal Guy promptly nodded in agreement. Indeed, thunder, the world is a cruel place and it should rain forever and ever and ever, Sad Metal Guy thought.
Csejthe is quite a special Canadian trio because they eschew corpse paint and other banal black metally accessories in favor of dressing in a fashionable way that would get indie girls swooning over them (based on what Sad Metal Guy can see from this picture through his tear-glazed eyes). But despite such an appearance, they play moving, sorrowful black metal that inundates the ears with torrents of rainy melodies. Those who have not seen their pictures could easily visualize them decked out in water-proof black metal armor and hip-deep in some flooded Indonesian village, playing to the tragedy unfolding around them as villager after villager gets crushed beneath falling debris from landslides.
The abundance of tremolo-picked guitar melodies in rainy black metal is not something new, but on this record, Csejthe succeed in using them to craft a melancholic sonicscape that resonates strongly with depressed individuals on rainy days. The pained and distant growls heard intermittently also manage to instill a sense of despair, giving one a newfound inability to laugh at trending Kim Jong-un memes [I like this one myself…Steel Druhm].
It’s great that the harsh vocals are actually relegated to a supporting role, because the non-vocal instruments prove themselves to be great vehicles of sadness in its myriad of gloomy shades. If you know people can’t decipher what the vocalist is singing anyway, placing less emphasis on the vocals in the audio mix seems like a good move in this wet sub-genre of black metal.
Appropriately, the album ceases the aural flooding on an epic note. The nearly ten-minutes-long album-closer, “Chant des martyres”, is not only the lengthiest song, but also the only one out of the eight tracks to prominently feature the keyboards and pedaled guitars. Keep an ear out for two quiet sections in the song when the keyboards and pedaled guitars put your mind into a state of serene reflection; it’s pretty transcendental.
Perhaps this record only sounds good due to coincidental circumstances, but alas, if fate wills it as such, Csejthe shall get its slightly higher rating than Aldaaron. Too bad, Aldaaron!
When the bus stopped and Sad Metal Guy alighted, he felt a queer urge to face skyward. He looked up at the crying face of the heavens and closed his eyes, savoring the cold touch of every raindrop that fell on his stupid, emo and tear-streaked face.
“All these beautiful moments will be lost in time, like—“ he coughed, “—tears in rain.”
A rainy black metal woman appeared from a random wormhole and brandished a plus-sized bardiche.
“Welp, time to die,” Sad Metal Guy said, just before rainy black metal gal cleaved him in half.
Remind Happy/Sad Metal Guy not to rip-off a line from Blade Runner when he reviews a rainy black metal record in the next cycle of the eternalistic universe.