Album Title: 
Snuff // Hiroshima
Release Date: 
Friday, February 28, 2014
Review Type: 

Snuff // Hiroshima is the third full length album (the band recorded some EP’s and released a DVD as well in mean time) by German act Fäulnis, a project by Ben ‘Seuche’ (the one from BlackShore and Sakramortem, not the guy involved with e.g. Pestkult or Northern Hate). It lasts for fifty minutes and appears as regular CD and as double 12” vinyl long player.

Fäulnis call their style ‘Black Doom Punk Rock’, and who am I to contradict this? Indeed Snuff // Hiroshima isn’t just Black Metal, nor is it Doom, nor is it any ‘regular’ musical approach that could cover the flag. The tempo is pretty varying, with a heading role for both slower and energetic passages, the sound is blackened (the riffing especially exhales a quasi-underground-oriented spirit), and the execution rocking and punky, so until now the band’s own description is very appropriate. And it is varying too, believe me. This goes, as mentioned before, for the tempo and different musical styles involved, yet the whole comes with much more: melodic and melancholic passages, aggressive outbursts versus atmospheric excerpts, hints of Death and Thrash Metal, a timeless performance (combining old schooled primitivism with modernised creativity), an universal approach (the whole exceeds the German, or European sound completely; this could be as well a band from Austria, Sweden, Australia, Greece, the U.S. of the New World or, for my part, Bhutan or Malawi; only the lyrics in German might give a clue-of-origin).

But I can’t go on in a purely-positive atmosphere. The vocals are somewhat irritating shouts with a touch of Hardcore-Punk in it, and it might be the biggest ‘problem’ for it poisons the sometimes pretty agreeable songs. And let’s be honest: the pretty ‘easy’ approach that goes for the major part, and a certain lack of inventiveness and thoughtfulness, along with those (terrible) vocals (even a megaphone gets used; a chilly, sulphuric black-scream appears only very sporadically) and a non-satisfying sound (i.e. a great so-called Underground sound when it comes to the guitar riffs and leads in an under-mixed combination with a modernised rhythm section): it disappoints enormously. And since I am usually pleased a lot by stuff provided via Cold Dimensions (Battle Dagorath, Lunar Aurora, Graupel, Mortuus Infradaemoni, Trist etc.), I am trying to hold my tears…

Final note: there are, to be honest, a handful of excerpts that are great and interesting though (several Black-laden pieces can satisfy my eardrums for a couple of moments)… Unfortunately it isn’t but a small section…