Procer Veneficus - How the Heather Moonlit Shivers
Just Another Winter
Dark Ambient/Acoustic
11 songs (1:02:05)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Vrechek

After having had my fill of SIG:AR:TYR, I (briefly) sought for other acoustic-centric Metal bands to take up my small amount of listening time devoted to the style. Well, as it turns out, not surprisingly there are almost no bands that focus on acoustic guitars. However, I did stumble upon this solo project called Procer Veneficus. From what I saw this was one young man's attempt to release as much material as he possibly could in six years. Never a good sign, but I decided to roll with it and listen to this “Black Metal/Dark Ambient/Experimental Acoustic” music. However, the album I chose (the most recent, from 2010) was not Black Metal at all. Perhaps his previous material was, but this album was entirely ambient/acoustic with some very sparse vocal work.

Confession: This type of music is not my forte. I only listened to this album once all the way through. I went into it with a foregone conclusion that I would humor it and then give it a low passing grade.

I am comfortable in telling you this because I can almost guaran-fucking-tee that you won't give a rat's ass about this band or this release. This truly is dime a dozen dark ambient music. Yeah, it might not be quite as boring as most of the late-era Burzum worshipers, but it's really not that complicated. You make repetitive soundscapes and spruce it up a bit with extremely stripped-down melody (if you're not feeling lazy).

Okay, okay, so there is some good in How the Heather Moonlit Shivers (But not the title. That does kinda suck. Not to mention I think it has a typo in it.): the one thing that dark ambient music relies on the most, atmosphere, is delivered in spades. To try and describe it: it is as though you crossed Opeth with Blut Aus Nord then stripped all the Metal out of it, leaving only some eerie sounds and an old, empty-house feel with echoey acoustic guitars. Speaking of which, that acoustic part of the dark ambient/acoustic? It's not very good. It's all essentially the same: a few notes strung together and played over and over again with a bit of variation every once in awhile.

The best song on here by far is Devotion, which is made infinitely better with a simple violin part that takes up most of the running time. Looking at the album details, it is apparently played by a girl who the band's mastermind fancies and . . . wait. COVER?! The best fucking song on the album is a COVER?!? Okay, that's it. There's no way this gets a passing grade. That just pisses me off to no end.

“But what about the darkness of the musician's natural surroundings and blah de blah?” none of you might ask. Well, here's a treat for ya: I happen to know the town where this guy lives. My girlfriend is from there. I'm writing this review there, right now, in Los Osos, California. Nice place, but does the album's sound have diddly dick to do with general ambiance of the town? NO. It's a coastal town. It's full of wind and trees and sometimes fog, not dim and dusty mansions nor dark and desolate moors.

Fact of the matter is: this is barely passable dark ambient wherein the best song is a COVER. Yeah, it's a nice song, but to give this band praise because of it would be preposterous. Just for that annoyance, I'm knocking down the score a peg.

Killing Songs :
Vrechek quoted 52 / 100
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