Judas Iscariot - To Embrace the Corpses Bleeding CD Review

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2003-09-05 : Vorfeed : Link
Artist: Judas Iscariot
Album Title: To Embrace the Corpses Bleeding
Label: Red Stream

This is the seventh full-length CD from Judas Iscariot, a raw Black Metal band formerly of the U.S. (currently of Germany).

Judas Iscariot has always been amongst the foremost of the American Black Metal bands. A unique sound, a hateful vision, and an approach that values emotion and dedication above empty aesthetics and technicality - these are the hallmarks of Judas Iscariot's art.

This said, this album is hit-and-miss. Many of the songs here are the best Judas Iscariot have ever recorded: "I Awoke to a Night of Pain and Carnage", "In the Valley of Death, I Am Their King", "Spectral Dance of the Macabre", "The Dead Burst Forth From Their Tombs". However, others are less impressive. While the first song is genius, the next three tracks seem lackluster by comparison, and when considered against Judas Iscariot's previous works, they seem rather generic.

After these three songs, the quality of the album returns to the outstanding level of the first, and stays there for most of the remainder. Even so, the damage is done.

The good news is that this is the best Judas Iscariot album to date. The bad news is that, after seven full-length albums, this is still not the meisterwerk Akhenaten is clearly capable of. To my ear, there's too much filler here for perfection.

Don't get me wrong - this is still the Judas Iscariot album to get, if you can get only one, and it's still a great Black Metal album. In a way, this one is so good that it's disappointing, as the album it could have been overshadows the album that it is. All things considered, I wholeheartedly recommend it, but still await the ideal expression of Judas Iscariot's work.

Standout tracks: "I Awoke to a Night of Pain and Carnage", "In the Valley of Death, I Am Their King", "Spectral Dance of the Macabre"

2003-08-23 : Roel F.
To Embrace The Corpses Bleeding. Sure, the drums are somewhat repetitive, and some of the changes in melody aren't always subtle, but these things are in no way annoying. Akhenaten continues where he's left off with the previous albums: Judas Iscariot's approach to BM is still fast, cold and grim (there are those words again) and has a 90's feel to it. Just the way I like it, because nowadays it seems as though every BM band has forgotten how to play raw black metal and what BM in general is about (except, of course, Darkthrone, Nargaroth and such bands). I don't suppose this kind of BM will be liked by let's say Dimmu Borgir fans, but if you like raw and nostalgic BM, this is the one album you can't miss.
2003-01-28 : Aeres
As Black Metal continues to get more and more recognition in the masses, some bands decide to stay completely underground. Judas Iscariot is one of these bands, and with this album, which is my introduction to the band, I have found yet another band to add to my favorites list. The entire album seems to come off as dark, bleak, hauntingly atmospheric nightmare of sorts. Every song sounds and feels like it was recorded in Hell by Satans elite, somehow making it to Earth to lure humans to the dark side. And all I can say is if that was the dark ones plan, it worked; well, on me at least. Each song can start off as Hellish as possible, then when you think it can't get any more demonic, an incredible guitar piece or a sudden fast-as-hell rythym change comes into play, making you wonder if what you heard was real or fantasy. The song titles (which are very long, I might add) all point toward a war-like, anti-christian collection of horror stories. Lyrics, though unfortunatley not included, are great but completely hard to decipher in some places. This music has always been about feeling and aggression anyway, so the lyrics are not much of a problem. If you consider yourself a true Black Metal fan, seek this out at all costs. It's well worth it.
2002-10-27 : [Herr Abisem] : Link
Mmmh, it's hard for me to review this Lp: personally, I consider Judas Iscariot one of the best bands in the Black Metal scene, and one of my favorite groups of all times, talking about music. I have always loved the minimalist but, at the same time, extremely introspective way of playing of Akhenaten, the sole member behind this project. This album is quite more complex and less minimalist than the first ones, and here can be find songs such as "I Awoke to a Night of Pain and Carnage", the first one and one of my favorite, in which the fast parts of the previous mCd "Dethroned, Conquered and Forgotten" mixes with a middle part very evocative and dark. This is only one example of the music you will find on this album, many other great song such as "Bathed in Clouds of Blood", "Where Eagles Cry and Vultures Laugh" and so on, should be analyzed one by one, but I think that, if you know Judas Iscariot, you don't need this review to buy it.

2002-08-25 : HIDDEN THRONE zine (BOSNIA) : Link
I've read a lot about this band but never got a chance to actually hear his music... until now. I don't know is it me (I'm by no means a black metal expert - obviously?) or is it up to Akhenaten's inspiration but this disc does very little for me, talking as a metalhead. Take the blasting parts of early Bathory mix it with "Pure Holocaust" inspired melodicism and some Dissection influence here and there and that's it. Drummer is very fast but he's not interested in variations, how he starts the song that's probably how he's gonna end it, simply boring. Basically, main problem is that material doesn't flow, it sounds "flat" and there's really about five minutes of music to remember on the disc the rest of it could have been said with one track only, indeed even with those slower parts and keyboards incorporated (in one song) it still sounds one track minded.
2002-08-04 : Ostonegu
Nice work from this always-impressive kvlt BM torchbearer. The session drummer adds an extra element of propulsive fury to Akhenaten's masterful Burzum/Graveland/Darkthrone inspired depressive atmospheres. I've never had a problem with the drumming on other JI albums(unlike a lot of people), but the rhythmic ferocity, faster tempos, and growlier vocals of this release add up to a maelstrom right up there with Immortal's "Pure Holocaust". These comparisons with earlier BM bands in no way mean that Judas Iscariot is derivative, rather, I see Akhenaten as conciously building on a tradition, making a painstaking effort to maintain the unique feeling and spirit of the masters, while adding his own piece to the legacy. For instance, he definitely has a distinctive riff-arrangement style and a personalized usage of dissonance. This conciousness of past masters is fitting for Black Metal, with it's inherent atavism and respect for ancient pagan and occult tradition. A solid foundation in tradition is a crucial part of most ancient, pre-Christian, pre-Enlightenment music traditions the world over, from European folk forms, to Indian ragas, to Moroccan Jajouka. Judas Iscariot is a much-needed bastion of artistic integrity and personal strength in a music genre in danger of being killed off by slick carnival music goth clowns and shallow norsecore dorks. Truly, he deserves our deepest Hails.
2002-07-03 : MBM666
Just listen to "Where Eagles Cry And Vultures Laugh" and "I Awoke To A Night Of Pain And Carnage" and you'll know instantly I'm right!
2002-06-19 : Marko
If you wonder what Black Metal sounds like, Judas Iscariot is the answer!

Just listen to "In the valley of Death, I am their King" and you know what I mean.
Monday, April 01, 2002 - 6:36:09 AM : Narhemoth
Great fucking Eltie Black metal.
So should Black Metal realy sound.
Friday, March 29, 2002 - 2:05:03 PM : Chris Tighe
Old school black metal the freezes the blood and catapults these American heavies up with the elite - Darkthrone, Marduk and Immortal.