I Shalt Become – Louisiana Voodoo (PR2013) – What begins with an orchestral and foggy opener, seems to remind of the kind of music that Simon or Trevor Belmont might hear while traversing Dracula’s fetid castle, the sounds of the beasties completely intact. Though there is a guitar on this disc, it seems to be more or less just a backing element to the keyboards; which are oddly enough the band’s core element. That’s different, and I like different. Throughout “Total Perspective Vortex 7:10″ you’ll hear a slathering of gothic keyboards being laid over the top of rather subtle drums, in addition to the chanting of disembodied spirits. As mentioned, the sounds of Dracula’s denizens are intact throughout the album; as the screams of skeletons seem to decorate the album quite beautifully. Yet there’s certainly a demon on vocals for the title track (“4:45″). But there’s something very wrong with this album, and I think it’s going to find the wrong audience due to its name. Yes, there’s nothing here that even relates to Louisiana or Voodoo on this album. Nothing. This album could’ve been The Disembodied Wails Of Skeletal Souls (No taking that, it’s mine!) or perhaps The Rats In The Walls, which the band liked enough to make it a nearly twenty-minute closer. People who might expect something like Glorior Belli’s Louisiana blues on this record are going to be horribly let down, but people who actually enjoy these gothic atmospheres (and they’re fucking terrific, I might add) well not even think to check out the disc, because they see the words Louisiana Voodoo. Seriously, whose idea was this? And is it too late for a title change? Obviously you don’t have to do all that much to the cover, it’s put on there with a very easy to replace text in Photoshop and it’s got a slight shadow effect. That takes about five minutes of work at the most. You just swap out Louisiana Voodoo for something more fitting of the album’s atmosphere, and there you go. The album cover itself doesn’t even look like it’s got the proper image for the album’s title. Seriously? Who’s idea was this? Feel free to contact me by email, as I would like to address you personally and hear what exactly happened. I am a musician myself as you well know, and I feel that this album’s title is a horrible marketing decision that will deprive the people who really love this kind of music away from it, because sadly; some of us still judge albums by their cover. Also there is not one thing about this album that is related to the state of Louisiana or Voodoo, which I’m thankful for, because I’m glad it’s just not a death/sludge disc which is what my impression was when I first heard it. Nothing wrong with death/sludge, but it’s not this… which is amazing.
Alright, that’s enough bashing the album because of its title. It’s still a very strong disc that is worthy of exploration, giving off the full feeling of walking through ancient ruins at night, or venturing through dark subterranean caverns in which the creatures of the nigh prowl. This album could serve as a soundtrack to certain games in which a feeling like this is better achieved. Tracks like “Braquemaid 3:16″ are second to none, offering just the right amount of cryptic fare and giving off the atmosphere of a centuries old mausoleum. But as for that closer I mentioned earlier in my little rant, “The Rats In The Walls 18:59″ truly does serve just as strong of an atmosphere as the songs before it and I daresay that Dracula himself would enjoy this music had it been offered to him. It’s got a neoclassical beauty, yet drenched in so much morbidity that it comes off as both incredibly bleak and ravishing. This is the kind of music that you’d associate our website name with, and hell; The Grim Tower would be a perfect title for this album in the first place! I wouldn’t even want any royalties for the name change, just anything to see Louisiana Voodoo removed from the album’s cover and replaced with something more fitting for the music. Never in my life have I been upset about an album title before, but it’s like you’re making an album called These Beautiful Oranges and you’re singing about how great apples are. I just can’t get my head around this to save my life.
But if you’re interested in the most gloomy, dank and gothic of atmospheres as well as under the assumption that thick keyboards outweigh loud guitars on an album; then you’d better hurry up and grab a copy of this I Shalt Become album, which I will not refer to by name anymore, because it only upsets me when I do. The band is beyond amazing, but I hope that maybe someone out there will discover these guys behind the mistaken album title and realize that there are no voodoo, sludge or blues elements to be found here. For this is truly the soundtrack for those things that go bump in the night, and the terrifying realms in which they occupy. Highly recommended and unlike anything you’ll hear this year. I can personally bet you that nothing will come out for the rest of 2014 that will even be remotely like what I’ve heard on this album, and that’s why you need to check this one out for yourself. It’s unreal.
(10 Tracks, 59:00)