I admit it, I can be a sadistic reviewer. Finding a truly, deeply terrible album gives me a certain perverse glee at the prospect of creatively tearing the malformed afterbirth to ribbons. The feeling is generally strong enough to overpower the dry heaves and stomach-clenching nausea of actually listening to it. But I have found my Waterloo. Despite the seemingly bottomless barrel of fish to shoot, and with my proverbial pen charged like an orbital death cannon, The Year Zero Blueprint is such an infinitely dense singularity of awful, the pain of listening to it outstrips my sadistic joy of writing about it, something not even the historically poor Blind Seer could manage. At least this cover is not as much of a punishment to look at as that ReBoot ripoff, and that is it as far as positivity goes today.

So what did Until The Sky Dies do that got yours truly in such a tizzy? The opening track “I” (no titles, only Roman numerals now) is quick to lead you into the abyss. A halting riff accompanied by what sounds like synthesized bagpipes assaults the ears almost instantly. The curious fade-in on each cycle of the riff projects the distinct aura of “we looped this in the studio,” while the abysmal timing adds “and we couldn’t even get that right.” When the growls come in, they are so powerless and breathy I could disperse them with a fan. It’s like a constipated ghost giving up on his ability to ever poop again. The clean vocals that follow play his unaffected but commiserating spirit friend, a sad, whiny murmur that projected a sense of mystery and majesty in life, but in death it has forgotten how.

Although each track regurgitates its material long past its best-before date, there are as many ways to be unforgivably awful as there are songs. “VI” mixes uncertain country twang, stomach-turning floaty synths, half-whispered edgy vocals that end-ah every sentence-ah with a sigh-ah, and what sounds like an amateur Eddie Vedder impersonator trying too hard. “IV” beats you over the head and stabs you in the ears with what’s either poorly synthesized clarinets or the most maltreated guitars this side of The Who’s destructive antics. The closer contains the worst strained vocals and more terrible timing than a Holocaust joke at a bar mitzvah. And after a curiously out-of-place 8-bit intro, “II” reveals itself an 8-minute monotone dirge that just makes me want to eat a cyanide sandwich.

The production is another hellscape where taste and sanity go to die. The mix is utterly inconsistent, regularly shoving elements too far backward or forward, even between clean and unclean vocals. This terrible mix causes most of the damage to the inner ear, like the screeching kazoo in “IV” or the abrasive warble of the guitars on “V” and “VII.” The acoustics and recording quality both say “World War II bunker,” and half the songs clip in a migraine-inducing manner. Sibilances are like attack whistles for these bouts of clipping, but tracks like the closer and “V” manage well enough on their own. The wide range of DR scores across the album further underline the inconsolable inconsistency, which further impresses how every single element was pasted together and thrown haphazardly into a production blender.

I’ve never heard an album without a single redeeming feature. Blind Seer had one decent chorus, but they invoked my ire by butchering Sir David Bowie. The Year Zero Blueprint has no redeeming feature. Every single element is among the very worst I’ve ever laid ears on. I’d rather sit through a 24 hour Geordie Shore marathon while blasting P. Diddy at full volume all the way through than sit for another spin of The Big Fat Zero Blueprint. And despite the laundry list of things wrong with this album, despite the monumental shitstain this album spread on the face of metal and music in general, despite the absolutely punishing, torturous experience of sitting through this ugly, foul, horribly composed, dismally played, dreadfully produced piece of decaying garbage… a label attached its name to it. So if you’ll excuse me, when I finally stop vomiting, I’ll need to either phone the police because some label executive’s family is being held hostage, or I’ll just need to give up hope in all of humanity and start building a real orbital death cannon. Fuck. This. Album.


Rating: 0.0/5.0
DR: 2-8 (avg. 4) | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Cimmerian Shade Recordings
Websites: Album Bandcamp
Releases Worldwide: October 31st, 2017

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  • BURN (the sky).

    • Eli Valcik

      We’ll burn the sky

    • Alexandros

      HARAKIRI for the sky!

      • welyyt

        Hey, those guys are great.

        • Meriyas

          They also have a new song out which is pretty good too. New album due at the start of next year.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    You really shouldn’t sugar coat your opinion. Tell us how you REALLY feel.

    • You took the words out of my mouth!

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        sorry again….

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Ghosts trying to poop….heh heh
    Poop.

    • Strapping Old Fart

      This is what I wanted to say.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        sorry….

  • Twisted Metal

    Not even an 0.5 for the cover? I’ve seen worse covers.

    • VikingSchism

      I’d even go as far as to say it’s a pretty decent cover. Good thing I read this review instead of judging an album by its cover

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        the album cover says ‘space prog’
        The band photo says ‘KFC’

        • VikingSchism

          This is the moment we find out the original cover was just the KFC logo, but they got told to do something different so they just used a rejected cover for Terminal Redux

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            Ha! That’s where I had seen this before….good call!
            Stoopid mouth breathers…..

          • Eli Valcik

            Terminal Redux, talk about great album covers!

    • HeavyMetalHamster

      apparently they have a friend who owns PhotoShop…that 0.5 is his and his alone.

  • Jon Hartley

    What’s with that band photo? It’s like dude on the left was reading this review as it was taken.

    • Flämmer

      That may very well be the constipated ghost mentioned in the review.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Fuck. This. Album.
    Sure, but can you say that in Portuguese?
    Cos i can’t….

    • GardensTale

      If I put Google translated words together it would be “Porra este àlbum”

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        So be it then.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Can someone please review the new Cloak for shit’s sake…

    • Eldritch Elitist

      It’s on the production line courtesy of yours truly, but I don’t love it so far.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        Uh oh…..

      • AgonMcDuck

        Idk. It’s a touch bloated and a little too midtempo for my liking but I’m kind of digging it. It’s groovy as fuck, for sure.

  • Simbod

    What the… is this an album the band wants people to take seriously? Not a parody? How do you even manage to records something that bad? And I thought we hit the bottom with Blind Seer…

  • JohnC

    Blind Seer: “We made the worst record of 2017”

    Until the Sky Dies: Hold our beers and watch this!

    • GardensTale

      And I’m stupid enough to review them both. Set orbital death cannon to home coordinates I suppose.

      • Nukenado

        Be strong, GT.
        I’m sure you’ll have some good albums for TYMHM.

        • GardensTale

          Yep, gonna write 3 or 4 of them. If only to avoid picking from all the December black metal promos.

          • Nukenado

            By the way, is it safe to assume Pacifisticuffs to be December RoTM?
            (Holy shit I can’t even recognize the new singer’s voice. She’s drastically different from when she sang “Jigsaw Hustle”.)

          • GardensTale

            Ohh, I haven’t heard it yet. Is it good? I was really nervous about Annlouice’s departure…

          • Nukenado

            There’s no Annlouice to ground them in the realms of metal, but their electic sound is still there. The new vocalist sounds like a pop star but they use here pretty well. More male vocals this time around. I’ve only heard one track so can’t speak for every one, but it’s not bad. I’m a bit nervous but still optimistic.

          • Nukenado

            I don’t think you’ll be safe even if you can avoid the December Blackened Turd Surprises.

      • Tofu muncher
  • It sounds like they recorded this album inside a Guitar Center during business hours. I can almost hear the sales associate recommending Line 6 in the background.

    • kmanitou81

      “Let me ring you up and I’ll show you how to download the app.”

  • Dat voice! Is what you got when shit clearly hit the fan! Productionwise zero.

  • AshCinderSmoke

    I got about 20 seconds into the embedded track. It’s gonna be a no from me.

    • Nukenado

      Actually, the other 4:41 seconds are the exact same thing but repeated for 4:41.

      • AshCinderSmoke

        You made it through the whole thing?!?!

        • Nukenado

          Yep. I have a transcript like Akerstache’s below.
          It would be offensively bad if it wasn’t as boring as hell.

          • AshCinderSmoke

            You’ve more patience than me that’s for sure

          • Nukenado

            I think it was because I froze in horror as the faux bagpipes were unleashed.

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    man that embedded track sounds like shit, horray for a zero rated album and these kinds of reviews, what little i heard it truly terrible in every level, specially the production

  • Eli Valcik

    Orbital Death Cannon is going to be my concept progressive death metal band name.

    • kmanitou81

      In the rear, with the gear.

    • Nukenado

      Cyanide Sandwich is my new blackend melogrind band name.

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    there is some weirrd shit at the bandcamp of this album, like positive reviews

    • GardensTale

      No Clean Singing called them ‘interesting’. I saw a kid on tv whose entire face was inflated with tumors. That was also interesting.

      • That’s not interesting, that’s sad. Just like this.

      • sir_c

        Difference is… the kid couldn’t help it

  • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

    So the embedded track…it sounds like something a 15 year old might throw together with a combination of software, his friend on shitty token vocals, and an out of tune $100 Guitar Center special. Yikes.

  • This is what zeros are made for. This is easily the worst thing I’ve heard all year. Raise the Black previously held that honour. Blind Seer is crappy, but not bad like this is bad. This is in a whole other league.

  • The Akerstache

    Here is my transcribed reaction to the embedded track with timestamps.
    0:01: Silence! Here’s hoping it lasts for the next 5:01
    0:02: Shit, it didn’t last. What was the point of having one second of silence at the beginning of that? It didn’t fade in or anything, it’s just silence then BOOM!!! A SHITTY BUILDUP!!
    0:04: oh no
    0:08: Is that a kazoo or bagpipes?
    0:12: Okay, what the hell is that guitar riff? Is he just adjusting the volume every so often so that only one part of the riff get’s emphasized?
    0:21: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    0:24: Is that the kitchen sink?
    0:36: What the fuck? There was a weird little swell in the background.
    0:52: Goddammit, who told them a tiny audio swell near the end of the dununundun riff was a good idea? That is stupid.
    1:00: Where the fuck did that come from? Side note: I’m only five minutes into this shitstorm.
    1:15: I have so much more to say, but I think my brain is bleeding, so I’m gonna keep it quick. This drumming is truly awful.
    1:29: Wundah whiiiiieee!
    1:33: Goddammit, this again?
    1:55: Hahaha, wtf? What the hell were they thinking with that stupid fucking cymbal crash? It’s like they tried to hide it behind the guitars. Was that there for all the other dunununduns? (Edit: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha) (Edit #2: Okay, so it turns out the drummer just didn’t hit the cymbal hard enough to be in the forefront, this song is bad)
    2:08: Butter.
    2:30: Thank god I don’t have to listen to that verse anymore… Unfortunately I have to listen to this chorus instead! Yay!
    3:02: goddammit
    3:27: There had better be a truly awful guitar solo or something, please let there be something terrible for me to laugh at!
    3:46: Please make it stop.
    3:54: You know, I thought this would be an easy and fun way to get some upvotes, listen to a shitty song, write some funny thoughts, boom, done. I whore out for upvotes and it’s all good. I have taken four minutes of agony and dragged it out for twenty, and I still have a minute left. This is the singe stupidest decision I’ve ever made, I need to go listen to something with artistic merit, like Limp Bizkit.
    4:01: oh my god the verse is over please never go back to it ever just dont let me hear that shitty verse ever again
    5:01: THAT IS THE SINGLE SHITTIEST ENDING TO A SONG I’VE EVER HEARD BUT PRAISE JESUS IT’S OVER!!!!!

    • Props sir, here’s your up doot, you have earned it.

    • GardensTale

      I kind of want AMG to promote this to top comment just so everyone has to scroll through all that to get to the comments.

      Hilarious transcription though!

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        I think this is now the template for all reviews henceforth and forever more.

        • The Akerstache

          I would pay actual money for a second by second thought process on this album from GT.

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            I’d probably be copy / pasting “FUCK. THIS. ALBUM” for the entire duration.

          • GardensTale

            You couldn’t afford putting me through this again.

      • The Akerstache

        Even better if it gets featured, then you have to scroll through it twice!

    • Alexandros

      I’ve so totally listened to the track while reading this! 10/10 experience (despite the ear bleeding)

      • The Akerstache

        I’m glad I could make the single shittiest thing ever penned by a “musician” (ha) enjoyable.

    • Nukenado

      I envy you that you’re able to come up with so many reactions.
      My most repeated reaction was “when is the next riff coming up?”

      There is no next riff coming up. This is Emmure.

      • The Akerstache

        I thought that a lot too, that verse riff is truly awful, fortunately they aren’t even talented enough to play that correctly 100% of the time so I had plenty of material to work with.

        • Nukenado

          I’m just dumbfounded that they had the gall to play two 8 second riffs and make a 5 minute song. All I could think of.

          • The Akerstache

            It’s honestly such a stupid decision. How anyone can think a riff is good enough for three minutes of a song is beyond me, riffs that great happen VERY rarely, and even when they deserve the length it really lessens the blow (look at any Gojira riff for it done wrong).

            Fuck this band, I’m going back to Slugdge.

          • Nukenado

            I’m trying to find time for Slugdge but I just go back to Anaal Nathrakh :(
            Repetition is waaaaaaaay too overused.
            Even a doom band like Paradise Lost don’t use repetition that often and willy-nilly.

          • The Akerstache

            I had trouble finding time for Slugdge too, until I played Dim and Slimeridden Kingdoms in my car last week, since then I haven’t stopped listening to them. They’re just so damn riffy.
            Repetition works only if you’re insanely talented (Opeth and Agalloch come to mind) and even then bands that use it still keep plenty of riffs intermixed to keep it interesting.

          • Nukenado

            Reporting back on Slugdge:
            Anaal Nathrakh but for parties (not a degratory statement.)

          • The Akerstache

            They certainly wear their influences on their sleeves, that’s for sure. I’ve always thought of them as having more relation to Mastodon than Anaal Nathrakh however, but now that you bring it up, the comparison to Anaal Nathrakh is VERY true. They’re just fun as hell and chock-full of excellent riffing. Hard to complain.

          • Nukenado

            I… I respect Mastodon… But… not… really a fan…

          • The Akerstache

            I can kinda relate, other than Crack the Skye I’m not that big a fan. But oh my god Crack the Skye is fantastic.

          • Nukenado

            Hmm, I’m trying Leviathan first.

          • The Akerstache

            I certainly love tons of elements about that album (Blood and Thunder and Hearts Alive) but something just holds it back from being a great album to me. But hell, that’s where I started and it’s as good a spot as any.

          • Meriyas

            Dim and Slimeridden Kingdoms was what I used to play when I was driving to my weekend cricket match. That album is absolutely monstrous!

          • The Akerstache

            I don’t know how they shoved that many great riffs into a single album, but DAMN. It just doesn’t stop riffing.

        • Meriyas

          Not only is the riff terrible, every time the loop begins it feels like when a cd has skipped a little bit. It’s janky and painful and I can’t believe I listened to 5 minutes of it.

    • sir_c

      Their next album is Unplugged, and they play it with a vuvuzela and an empty washing powder box.

  • Alex Skevo

    That was horrible. Even the score of 0 didn’t prepare for that

  • Zach Ward

    So to my knowledge there a 3 0.0/5.0 on this site? I would now love for yalls to rank em 1 to 3. Thatd be utterly hilarious trying to see which of these prices of garbage is above the other 2. I’d get a good kick out of that.

    • GardensTale

      My ranking from most shittiest to least shittiest would be:
      1. This shit
      2. Tetragrammacide
      3. Blind Seer
      4. Project Theory

      • Nukenado

        Project Theory didn’t deserve a 0.0 IMO. Angry White Elephant should take its place.

        • AgonMcDuck

          Yeah, it’s 0.5 at best, but fucking hell do I have “Guardian Angel” stuck in my head.

          • Nukenado

            I didn’t find it offensively awful, so I would have given them a 1.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        But Tetragrammacide have the Power Ranger suits…..that’s something. ….

      • Zach Ward

        So may I ask?? Is this the worst album ever made??

  • Grymm

    I still think the clean vocals sound like Billy Corgan.

    After a severe donkey punch. By a real donkey.

  • But did you like the album?

    • GardensTale

      You should check it out, you might like it. Provided you’re having an aneurysm.

      • h_f_m

        It would be good if you played it with the volume on 0 and played something else at the same time.

  • Frost15

    I think this album was created to troll every reviews site, seriously… HAHAHAHAH!

    • GardensTale

      Especially the ones that are positive about every single album.

  • Nukenado

    Transcript of reactions:
    0:01: This is okay, a weirdly tuned riff. Is that supposed to be a bagpipe?
    0:21: WHUT
    Are those supposed to pass for vocals?
    1:00 This loop is getting annoying.
    1:01 Okay the cleans are servicable, but what’s with all the fuzz?
    1:33 Return of the signiture riff. Let’s not overstay our welcome this time.
    2:15 Are we done yet?
    2:38 Wait, is this the whole gist of this five minute song?
    3:05 Okay, hi you’re back.
    3:29 Was that the only riff you guys wrote?!
    4:12 Is this a verse-chorus format? If so, why does everything sound the same?
    4:54 DIPSHIT FADES DIPSHIT FADES DO NOT USE DIPSHIT FADES UNLESS YOUR NAME IS JOHN COBBETT
    5:01 I need to start a support group with Akerstache.

    Jesus that was bad. You couldn’t even write a grindcore song with the amount of riffs here.

  • Septic
  • 0.0 and a scathing word of warning… I know better, and I know I know better… but do I?

    • One More Thing

      If you look to your left, you will see me sitting in the same boat.

  • Moth

    What would the video to this song look like?

    • Nukenado

      watch?v=VF8psEdwVVo
      Here ya go.

      • Moth

        Is it wrong that that’s the best song I’ve heard in the last 10 minutes?

        • Nukenado

          I won’t blame you.

  • Swordborn

    I generally fly with the assumption that all extreme metal is garbage. Once in a great while I’ll sort of arbitrarily pick a recent review and sample the attached song.

    It doesn’t help shift my world view on days like today. E voilà! Validation! XD

  • Wilhelm

    That main riff is now stuck in my head, time for a lobotomy

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      It is an infectious riff. Which is not necessarily a good thing, since stuff like leprosy and syphilis are infectious too.

  • IBlackened

    The description of the embedded track says: “Until The Sky Dies is the latest project of prolific musician Clint
    Listing (Grizzle, Long Winters Stare, As All Die, Broken Hands for
    Brilliant Minds and Black Depths Grey Waves).”

    Why am I not surprised that I’ve never heard of any of those projects?

  • Jim Bob

    The score might as well have been FUCKYOU/5.0

  • h_f_m

    I think the scale should be changed to 0.0/10 just so this garbage can be further away from a perfect score.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    The real issue here is that there are people out there, friends or family of the band perhaps, who told them that creating this abomination was a good idea.
    These people, in my humble opinion, are guilty of crimes against humanity, and therefore must be caught and terminated.
    Only then can the cycle of horror stop.

  • SoLeftISeeRight

    You threw some serious Cimmerian Shade there. Crush your enemies!

  • PretentiousFuckwad

    Welp just found my album of the year.

  • Rob

    Judging by the apartment building in the background of the “band” photo, they probably couldn’t record anything too loud because the neighbors would tape passive aggressive notes to their door and snitch to management. They’re due for that kitchen counter upgrade, I don’t blame them for not risking it.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    “synthesized bagpipes” lol
    The Scottish secret service militarised this idea years ago. Looks like metal is finally catching up.

  • Tom Wahl

    I don’t know what I just heard. It remains me of a demo I once sent out to a wrong adress, it was returned with a note saying «I’ve heard music before. This isn’t it!».

  • Eddy Ferreira

    I felt my ears bleed.

  • Peter Rabbit

    The chorus truly sounds like they let a goat run amok the studio

  • FugitiveTXs

    The album should at least get a .25 for the cover artwork.

    • GardensTale

      I agree…

      …rounded down.

  • Me

    Constipated ghost would be a great band name.
    …..that said I can’t recall a perfect zero on here before. My neighbors car alarm keeps going off and even that sounds better than this.

    • GardensTale

      There’s 3 others. Blind Seer, Project Theory and Tetragrammacide.

  • aelena74

    Should put a new AOTY category in place … in the negative, of course. Woulnd´t it be nice to have all the 0s lined up for a drunken shitfest in Decemeber?

  • aelena74

    one is pretending to be constipated, the other one on the contrary wants to make it look like the laxative finally worked and thus we got this riff…and the letters on the t-shirt are flipped as well…

  • TheKenWord2017

    I think I have seen a YouTube video with a group of housecats dressed up in rock-band garb “playing” and that sounded better than this. And at least that was fun to watch!

  • Thatguy

    I have – almost – no words. These guys have too much money and time, rudimentary musical ablity and no discernible ability to listen and edit, They should, of course, have edited this whole effort out of existence.

  • Simbod

    I don’t know… I mean, somewhere along the way from the beginning of the songwriting, during the recording process or at least before they released it, someone should have just taken them aside and told them, that this is a very bad idea. But obviously this didn’t happen.

  • Sean Sky

    Fuck… This and Blind Seer are truly next level bad.

  • Blommen

    What an utterly dispicable piece of garbage.

  • AgonMcDuck

    The fuck is this mix? The riffs and vocals are crappy, sure, but pushing them all the way back did not improve this song in any way. That guitar tone is putrid too, and I don’t mean it as praise.

    • AgonMcDuck

      Apparently someone at NCS enjoyed this? Please explain, AndySynn. Hahaha.

  • Syn

    Typically I’m sceptical of this low review scores because I always feel like the reviewer might have just not connected with the music properly or wasn’t in the mood for it or maybe even felt some bias towards the genre or whatever. Well that’s certainly not the case here.

    I think that even some of my own personal recordings (gutar pro 5 RSE + fruity loops samples) have been known to sound better than this.

    Which makes me feel so bad that my brain starts to pity-like it.

    • Shane R

      I think some recordings I did with two cassette players when I was fifteen sound better than this. And if you are going to suck this bad, at least turn the overdrive all the way up so you kind of achieve a nu-metal vibe.

  • Gaynebula

    Wow… I… Wow.

    That embedded track is uh… Quite something.

  • azerate

    Someone actually paid for the mixing job on this album…

  • herrschobel

    hmm…i won´t even listen to this. I wonder why you would even review this thing in the first place. Adds more negative Vibes on top of something not good. And opens the gate for a lot of cynicism and shit talking in the comment section. Personally i don´t need that. It´s like making fun of the fat kid in school.

    • GardensTale

      It was a double dog dare and I’m susceptible to peer pressure.

  • Aguy

    So, I listened to the embedded track, and boy is it fucking awful. I can’t believe the reviewer listened to the whole album.

    OTOH, I can’t help hearing a resemblance to other musical pieces I’ve heard that were intended to help induce a trance state through repetition…

  • I.B. Hurtin

    Wow, worst so-called music ever!

  • Jaime VG

    I checked it out at their bandcamp page just thinking “nah it can be that bad, nothing is that bad” but man, this is an atrocity at best. Monotonous, poorly recorded, drums that don´t match the tempo…it has it all.