Iconoclasm - Official Website

Preamble To Precipitate The Destruction Of Religious Artefacts

Belgium Country of Origin: Belgium

Preamble To Precipitate The Destruction Of Religious Artefacts
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: EP
Release Date: January 3rd, 1997
Label: Independent
Genre: Black
1. Omens Of Approaching Disaster
2. Never To Be Soiled By The Sun
3. Constructed By Depuration
4. Back Home (Paradise Burning)
5. Dry On Your Cross
6. Levend Vuur

Review by Carl on February 21, 2023.

If you would ask anyone in the know about this album, you'd probably get a fair share of chuckling quotes about the artwork that shows a nun and a devil... erm ... having a good time. If you'd ask somewhat further, I doubt you'd get a lot of details going beyond 'black metal', 'nun' or 'devil', so let's explore this one more deeply.

This sounds exactly how you would imagine a black metal release from 1997 would sound. Primary influences come from Dark Funeral, Immortal, early Dodheimsgard and Enthroned, as evidenced by the icy tremelo-picked guitars and scraping vocals that are the most prevalent characteristics of their sound. A fair share of the music is played at high velocity, but the band has also built in slower, more atmospheric, parts that work very well amidst the whirling vortex of high-speed rage. There are some sparse guitar parts that slightly reminded me of early The Cure or Joy Division, adding a suitably sinister angle to the music, with in the final track even a dab of female spoken word added. Viewed as a whole, this is certainly a varied effort, that effortlessly combines aggression with atmosphere, without sounding forced or contrived in any way. Playing may not always be as tight, but this is barely a nuisance here, the album as a whole makes up for that well enough.

But the elephant in the room is whispering something in my ear, and I do have to agree with him: stuff like this was a dime a dozen back in 1997. And in all honesty, this combination was the prevalent sound in the underground back then, because this was pretty trendy at the time. It has to be said that what Iconoclasm does, they do convincing and with attitude, but had this cd not had that eye-catching artwork, would many have noticed it amidst the mid to late 90's black metal avalanche?

Anyone into (Scandinavian-styled) black metal has heard this many times before, but that does not diminish the fact that this is an enjoyable and able release in the genre. It was not going to move the goal-posts in any way, but as an example of 90's underground extreme metal, it hits the mark for sure.

Rating: 7 out of 10