WIECZNOŚĆ, The Insight Kingdom (2010, self-released)

The skull:
Sometimes the best skulls are the worst, you know? This is a tastefully rendered watercolor skull that doesn’t immediately remind me of another cover, but it’s also so fucking boring that my fingers are falling asleep as I type this. What joke is to be made here? My kingdom for an insight! That’s about all I’ve got, and that was pretty lame. I can imagine a million small changes that would immediately elevate this skull to true ridiculousness. He could be smoking a pipe, for instance. Or wearing a propeller beanie. Or one of his teeth could have an emerald embedded in it. The options are limitless. I’m going to have to assume that the artist just ran out of time. He was totally ready to turn this into a real work of art when the band came bursting into his studio to demand the final art, because they needed to print up a dozen CDRs for their show that night, and also they really wanted to get the pic up on Myspace. If only they had been more patient!

The music:
I was expecting some very harsh black metal, but this is… not that. I guess you could call it progressive death metal, maybe? It does have some black metal influences, but they’re more like someone’s imagined ideas of what a Chuck Schuldiner-led black metal band sound like. In their slower moments (which are never really slow, but at least they’re not blasting fast), Wieczność come up with some very cool melodic riffs in the vein of early Dark Suns or something like that. Even when they speed up, the guitar work remains fairly clever, although it often gets lost in the programmed blasting. The drum machine can be very distracting, in fact. The samples are good sounding, for the most part, so it’s not that they sound overly fake. It’s just that sometimes the drum parts don’t seem to go with the guitar parts at all. They feel like mistakes. Maybe this is just the result of two guitarists programming the drums, although for the most part, the beats makes sense. I don’t know. It’s a weird thing. Anyway, Wieczność, when they’re good, are very good, but they often lose control of themselves, and in the end I’m not even entirely sure what they were trying to accomplish. This is the band’s sole release, but they’re allegedly still around, so maybe they’re just taking their time to really get their ducks in a row. If they do release something else, I’d expect it to be fairly good, so here’s hoping.
— Friar Johnsen