Originally released on cassette in an extremely limited run, “Herald of Confusion” has received the reissue treatment over a decade after its first unholy birth. Sadastor, the duo responsible for these five tracks of what they describe as 'crimson metal,' dropped this tape on an unsuspecting metal scene back in 1998 and then all but disappeared. Originating in northwestern France, Belathauzer (responsible for lyrics, concepts, artwork and half of the vocals) and M.M.M. (responsible for all of the music and the other half of the vocals) have created a grotesque marriage of Angelo Badalamenti's spooky compositions with Xasthur's ambient black metal.
Co-issued by Ruralfaune offshoot Faunasabbatha and the Tavarnkeben label, the reissue packaging is gorgeous: resembling a pagan hymnal, the booklet features full lyrics and an illustration accompanying each track. Musically, “Herald of Confusion” is extremely dark, and isn't what I'd consider a 'metal' record. There are lush acoustic guitar and piano passages that offset the high-speed programmed percussion, obligatory gruff shouted vocals, and shredding electric guitar riffs. Surprisingly, the quieter periods are the bleakest and most terrifying – the sense of dread lingers with the knowledge that an audio assault is just around the corner.
“Herald of Confusion” is a melodic record, betraying its 'metal' origins. It's worth exploring, especially if you've been hovering around the fringes of the black metal scene but haven't yet jumped in. 7/10 -- Bryon Hayes (16 December, 2009)