Where do I start with Golem? Well a golem is a mystical creature that is made of clay or stone. This name suits the band well since I can think of one word to describe both the myth and the band, HEAVY! Ye gods this is not so much an album as the musical equivalent of an elephant sitting on you. This of course makes me nothing but happy. It reminds a bit of Decapitated meeting up with later Gorguts, with the guitar tone from Morbid Angel's Heretic, but it sounds much better on this album than it did for Trey. This is a very technical, jagged and bizarre album. All of the music on here is incredible and the production adds to the fun since the guitar sound is just so bloody thick you can taste it. It is further complimented by some mostly tasteful use of synths. I also love the fact that this is a faster record, and we all know I tend to favor speed. The vocals have kind of an odd black metal feel to them, like a more guttural Abbath would be the best approximation, or maybe Kjetil Hektoen of Enthral. Words fail me for the first nine songs of this album; it isn't so much an album as a pummeling. The year is not yet ended but this is a contender to make my top ten of 2004. It almost sounds like this has a chance to flirt with perfection really. There are however a few warts on this disc.
Three warts to be precise. They are last three songs of the album, on which something went horribly wrong. The vicious death metal heard earlier on the album is discarded in favor of some really bad symphonic black metal. The first instance of this is the song called The Tower. Listening to an album go from Decapitated to a poor Dimmu Borgir clone is quite depressing. The stylistic change was strange enough but I could have handled it a lot better if these tracks weren't just soaking in bad keyboards. I mean they make Children of Bodom sound restrained. In all honesty it sounds like they brought in another band to do the end of the record, because it is nearly impossible to tell that this is the same band. They also include a hidden bonus track called Le Sacre du Printemps, which is hardly a bonus and should have stayed hidden. It's just a pointless instrumental that wastes ten minutes of the listener's life. Again this is somewhere between bad power metal and pretentious black metal, but either way I would rather be attacked by weasels than listen to this. This is of course my only complaint about the record. Just solve the identity crisis, (author's suggestion: pick the guys who did the first nine tracks), and Golem should quite the force to be reckoned with from now on.