PHLEGEIN – SILVER VEINS LP (Northern Heritage)

Phlegein’s debut album comes in a tasty-looking gatefold sleeve with some delightful artwork. It sure looks the part and that’s half the battle won straight away. First impressions and all that… Aesthetically, this is a fine product to own but the positives stop right there.

Musically, I was expecting something more. As standard Black Metal goes – or ‘Finnish Black Metal without compromise’ – I can’t find any obvious fault with ‘Silver Veins’ as it does precisely what it says on the tin. However: a quarter of an hour of monotonous, unadventurous, emotionless, banal, authentic BM is all fine and well, but does it really have to be this run-of-the-mill?

Obviously, all Black Metal sounds kind of alike anyway so it’s almost redundant to criticise an album for sounding all-too-familiar but my gripe is not necessarily relating to the monotony; more that this is, erm, let me think … boring, for want of a better word. To my ears, Phlegein are just plodding along, going through the motions, never quite arriving anywhere; directionless and rudderless.

I was expecting so much more from this album that I can’t help but feel disappointed. Having said that, it’s not Phlegein’s fault that I had high expectations of them and, to be fair, ‘Silver Veins’ still provides some good (but hardly great) Black Metal, even if you have heard it all a thousand times before (and often done much better than this).

Solid enough but lacking that x factor that separates the true ghouls from the men. “Nothing much happening here, folks, move along…”

Evilometer: 333/666