Review: Alraune – The Process Of Self-Immolation

Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Genre: Black Metal
Released: June 24, 2014
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: National Uprising – Recent Releases

By: Kris Kotlarik

Straight from the heart of the Bible Belt comes the debut effort for Alraune. It’s raw, aggressive, and fairly technical. The problem is that the production is so raw that you very well might get salmonella of the ear drums.

In this day and age it never ceases to amaze me how an album can sound so raw. From the second “Prelude” kicks in, it became obvious that this would be an extremely choppy effort soundwise. The vocals are almost entirely unintelligible, and there are parts of this album, such as the already out-of-place sample of a little girl singing about flowers at the end of “Kissed By The Red,” that have absolutely no business having so much garble in the sound but do anyway. 

That being said, there are some quality riffs and moments, especially in the all-around stellar “Simulacra.” Excluding the prelude, there are only four songs, all of them between 8:00 and 11:30 in length. On the remaining tracks, good moments come in bits and pieces; “Kissed By The Red” would have shared the top spot if not for that sample; the title track, which closes the album, has some highly varied drum patterns; and “Exordium” is split between straightforward aggression and some slower, even more straightforward breaks. 

Overall: I want to like this, but the production makes this a tall order. If you don’t care about production quality, you’ll like this a lot more than I do.

Rating: 2.5*

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