One Master is a NY/CT based occult black metal band that makes its summer debut with Lycanthropic Burrowing. It’s a pretty traditional stab at the genre but not a carbon copy of anything that’s come before. It does bring to mind the very early days of bands like Cradle of Filth with the theatrics toned down – whether that’s good or bad will be up to the listener to decide but I will say there are much worse bands to be compared to in their early stages.
The album itself doesn’t really pick up too much until you get to the third track “The Black Bat”. The first two tracks aren’t bad, but I’ll get to the issue there in a sec. Likewise, “Erosion” and “Lycanthropic Burrowing” are pretty dope tracks too but they all suffer from the same malady: sound production quality. I’m usually pretty lenient about that with smaller/newer bands, but when you’ve dropped multiple full lengths there’s really no excuse to not have learned how to properly mix your audio. While a couple of songs are kind of just so-so, what really brings them down is not being exceptional while also having terrible recording quality to them. Black metal is a genre where hyper aggressive bass, shredding riffs and blast beats can sound like a drunk swinging around pots and pans if not done right, but moreso if not recorded right – which is the case here.
Buried under the poor mixing is an EP with some potential but you’ll have to strain your ears to hear it as it was meant to be heard, which makes the actual listening a daunting task. There are moments where the album sounds like it was recorded with box fans in front of the amps and if this was the old freshmen go I could more readily overlook that. What I think happened here is a pretty good band got together with a handful of pretty good songs but were then rushed through the recording process – and it shows. Based on some of the other stuff I was able to dig up from the band I don’t want to sound like I’m bashing the group itself, I would totally check these guys out live and recommend others check them out live as well. However, this album as is definitely isn’t going on any top 10 lists of 2017 until they get a serious handle on the sound quality here.
1.The Claws of Dionysus
2.Will of the Shadow
3.The Black Bat
Valder – Guitar/Vocals
Blood Eagle – Drums
Black Wolf – Bass, Guitar
Bloodrock Rating: 2.0 outta 5.0 axes
Written by Ken Kaizer for Bloodrock Media on July 13, 2017