Play to Kill Straight Away...
Originally released in 2006, this album will see the light of day once more in 2012 (and now with this awesome artwork which is much cooler than the original one: http://cache0.bigcartel.com/product_images/63141245/300.jpg).
Stylistically, the album strikes me as being a bit difficult to classify, but that is, of course, only a positive thing. It is marketed as a primitive black metal album, and indeed it seems that the main source of inspiration is Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost's dirty and sloppy black thrash. Thus a track like "Anger / Hunger" is a heavy but aggressive and potent track, drawing on a couple of simple riffs and "Play to Kill Straight Away" builds on some very "Morbid Tales"-ish riffs and also features a wonderfully heavy doom-laden bridge. "I Hate You More than You Will Ever Know" is an aggressive crusty affair complete with d-beats and all, and "The Yelling" is, with its heavy beats and yelled vocals more of a sludge metal affair (although it does feature some punky uptempo parts as well).
In the ears of the modern listener, there might not be a lot of black metal to this album, but those who embraced first wave black metal Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost as well as Venom, Bathory and Sabbat (JPN) will instantly recognize the O.B.E.Y.'s "Romance of Misanthropy" as having the darkness and attitude that black metal had prior to the Norwegian revolution of the genre. There are, however, elements that might be more recognizable to post-Norway black metallers in the form of some blastbeat-and-tremolo passages (albeit of a more primitive and dirty kind) in the title track and towards the end of "Learn not to Pray".
The production is dirty and performed on heavy sounding distorted instruments, with the bass sounding more extreme than the guitar. There are several feedback screams all over the album, and the vocals are best described as angry yells (drowned in reverb). This aspect of the album might be testing to some and a hurdle to overcome by most. While I am not a big fan of the vocals, the sheer rawness of the music itself quickly won me over after a couple of listens.
Fans of primitive black metal akin to early Celtic Frost and Hellhammer, who do not mind a bit of sludgy attitude, are likely to find this slab of dirty metal an attractive release.