"I sighed at this album... and I sighed hard"
When I first looked at the cover of the album I thought “holy moly, the cover looks awesome, therefore the music contained within music also be awesome!” Yeah well I was wrong. Immediately when I hit play, my first thought was “oh no…” because I knew that reviewing this album would be a chore rather than a pleasant activity.
The logic escapes me on how a band that has been in the music industry for so long, can still have really shitty sound quality and distortion. I just don’t know sometimes, I just don’t know… The drumming sounds like someone hitting some kind of tin can with cling wrap as the skin, the guitars sound like those $5 toy guitars that parents buy for their children and the vocals, oh god, the vocals… they sound like a man being violated by a donkey, they don’t even black metalish or when I think about it, it doesn’t sound like any kind of vocals that I’ve heard from any genre (and I don’t mean that in a good way either). Even war metal style vocals sound better. I guess the bottom line to this is that the artist behind Countess have just real shitty musical skill overall to be honest. Upon doing a little bit more research, I found out that the Countess is now just a one man band and I had a sneaky feeling that was the case because one man bands typically sound stale (not all of them).
I don’t know if it’s just me, but Countess actually sounds like a satiric band, mocking the black metal industry. Even if that were true, that does not take away the fact that the music absolutely terrible. It just sounds so cheap. One good thing about On Wings of Defiance I guess is the fact that I can understand every single word that the vocalist utters (come to think about it, in black metal, that may not be such a good thing). But I giggled slightly when listening to the lyrics. Pretty much every second word the vocalist says is “war”, which is really annoying because not only do I have to listen to the same riffs over and over again, but the same god damn words too! Even though the artist tried to make things sounds a little different from song to song by adding slight changes to the song writing for example, adding keyboards to the mix (it’s worth pointing out that the keyboard is set to piano on On Wings of Defiance, which contributes to the albums cheapness). However, even these slight changes, these very rare changes throughout On Wings of Defiance does not make the music any better whatsoever, it’s still bland, it’s still stale, it’s still annoying and On Wings of Defiance is still terrible.
The intended audience for On Wings of Defiance is unclear to me, because the music sounds satiric in my opinion therefore it does not have the “kvltness” which tr00 black metalers look for, however it doesn’t really fit in with any other genre of music either, not even viking metal. It seems like the type music they’d play in a Scandinavian version of Playschool. This is where I believe is another spot that On Wings of Defiance falls, it lacks the attention (I’m assuming) of a really wide audience.
Just like the optimist I am, I try to look for the good things in music. Although there is little good done in On Wings of Defiance, there are certain moments (very rare moments) where I did think “hey this isn’t so bad”. There were some parts throughout On Wings of Defiance where the atmosphere and some of the actual feelings behind the music came into the forefront of the music and gave it some slight depth and character. Although I’ve heard this same style of atmosphere a million times before from many bands, it’s still worth giving Countess some credit for. I guess another thing I can commend Countess on is how the lyrics fit rather well with the intended mood. If only the actual music and the vocals used fit in with the music itself, then we’d have something here, something better than what we have now. But, these are only really minor things that I could find that are positive about On Wings of Defiance and this is not enough to save this from being one of the worst black metal releases that I’ve ever heard.
Overall, On Wings of Defiance is probably the worst black metal album I’ve heard in a really, really long time. Nothing is in time, the song writing is absolutely horrid and the musicianship… ahaha, let’s not even go there. Like I’ve mentioned before, you’d think that after years making music, that Countess would be at least good, sadly they aren’t even average, they’re well below average. Oh well there is no way in hell I’m going to be listening to any more Countess nor will I recommend these guys to any black metal fans out there because I’ve wasted my time. If I had to describe the quality of music, I’d say On Wings of Defiance is listenable, but tedious. I give Countess’s On Wings of Defiance a 7/20.