These days, it seems female-fronted black metal is kicking the asses of most male-fronted bands. I mean, just fucking demolishing them. And North Carolina's duo FEMINAZGUL is no exception. And guess what? It's not just the same usual sound other bands create. First full-length "No Dawn For Men" is an amalgamation of various styles mixed together to actually form one cohesive album.
Laura Beach screeches her vocals as Margaret Killjoy pretty much does everything else. And goddamn if this isn't a fucking breath of fresh air.
'Illa, Mother Of Death' opens the album with an accordion (yep, you read right) before a tremendous wall of atmospheric sound and despairing vocals kick in to set the stage for the brilliance of what is yet to come. 'I Pity The Immortal' throws us more atmosphere but picks it up a pace. The hypnotic, rhythmic guitars/drums blend in incredibly well with Laura's enrapturing gasps of blood-curdling screams.
And their song titles alone should catch your attention. Third track ' The Rot In The Field Is Holy' encapsulates every fucking thing I love about black metal...chaos, emotion, wails of grief and fury, and an energy that, though not necessarily rapid-paced, still sucks the life out of your bones as opera-style harmonies flitter and flutter throughout. 'Bury The Antlers With The Stag' begins with pianos, and then...holy fucking shit does the track explode into a smoldering, epic song that'll knock your ass on the ground and smear your bloody remains across the concrete. 'Forever, I Am Not Yours' (another outstanding song-title) is a mass of foggy ambience and noise, as 'Look Not To Erebor' continues the piano/synth exploration. And just when you think 'To The Throat' will remain consistent with the pianos, the black metal destruction engulfs you in blissful flames. Between this track and final song 'In The Shadow Of Dead Gods', I simply can't ask for a better way to end the album.
There's so much energy in "No Dawn For Men", with its wickedly powerful black metal tracks to it's more ambient deliveries, that my head is swirling in a vertigo-infused circle. FEMINAZGUL are like a one-night stand that refuses your fucking phone-calls the next day and the weeks thereafter. Because, they're just that goddamn good.