Farsot. IIII

Three colours, little English, no track listing — it’s a black metal record, this time from Germany’s Farsot. Foreboding theatrics are important, but so is follow-through, and that’s where IIII misleads. The cryptic packaging and algebra nicknames imply your brain will be scrambled, but the band’s feet are up for the entire opening track. Once things get lively, it’s too late. The whole record is like a long, solitary walk in the forest, complete with familiar and unchanging scenery. After a while, a branch is just a branch. "Thematik: Tod” has some classic Emperor references, as well as mournful cries typical of other countrymen like Bethlehem, but the songs themselves are too palatable and grounded to keep that company for long. Wet coughs just aren’t as frightening as a good distorted howl. As for the lyrics? They’re in German, so if they detail some epic existential saga, you may need a night class to find out. And that’d be good, because the sun would be down and the band a bit more persuasive. (Lupus Lounge)