It’s shocking, revolting, putrefying to the soul how bad this is. Typically, when a band releases something on limited cassette, usually for the hell of it, it’s best to let it stay limited and in the hands of friends, because they’re practically the only people who are going to get anything out of it, or at least they save face for the sake of the band. This was actually a demo from many years ago that was, for some reason, repackaged for this reissue. Wold have somehow managed to dig under the skin of the metal underground like a rot grub, growing ever closer to its heart. How is a complete mystery. Why is the finality. So when a site like Encyclopaedia Metallum, known for being very stringent in its policies towards adding bands, especially anything of the “noise” variety, has them on there, it’s kind of contradictory. Especially considering the forum wars on there over why A.C. has yet to be added to the archive. And in spite of the fact that everything we’ve heard from Wold is straight noise, they still have them on there, and even have them categorized as black metal/noise, as though that covers it. It does not, my friends. Does the dude running that site have some sort of vendetta against Seth Putnam, rest his twisted soul? Because there is no reason this band should be on there, nor anywhere, because they are much farther removed from metal than A.C. ever was, on most albums at least. Regardless, Badb is some of the worst, most uninspired noise ever created. We’re not even going to give it the decency of a clever joke from the title. How they managed to convince Crucial Blast to rerelease this hooey kablooey could probably turn into a treatise spanning several volumes you’d never want to read, filled with onomatopoeia.
Badb somehow was even given press via Decibel’s blog, and easily shows that probably only 1/6 of the writers in that crap pile have any clue what they’re talking about. Let’s reiterate. If something was released in a limited fashion, there’s probably a reason for it, except in some unusual circumstances, like basically every release by ambient black metal legend Sujo. This, however, should have been among friends, if one likes to torture one’s friends mercilessly. Or if one enjoys forcing them to play the “yeah it’s cool man” game until they have the guts to speak truth. Badb consists of nine tracks of lifeless noise, and we mean lifeless. The old joke of “screaming over TV static” actually, believe it or not, applies here, because that’s basically all this is. This brings up our old argument of what makes good noise. Noise, let us teach you all again, is not as easy as people think, which is a shame because it has easily the highest percentage of unskilled musicians. It’s not about slamming on pedals endlessly, screaming over it something about worms eating the filth of the bodies of pop culture, occasionally running the mic over the speaker for something original (sarcasm). This has led to the phenomenon we call “suitcase noise”, where “musicians” “play shows” that “consist of” “music” “played” by randomly stepping on effects pedals stored in a suitcase while doing something with a microphone and/or guitar purchased at Goodwill since that’s so elite. If the purposeful usage of quotes there to suggest idiocy wasn’t enough for you, let’s say it like this: such people need to be buried in the same suitcases in which they cart their wares, and CDrs.
Badb surprisingly short for a straight noise release, running barely three minutes per song, and trust us we mean straight, because there’s no black metal here at all other than about ten brief seconds of a poorly wrought riff, and also because there’s very little variation. It’s as straight as a razor applied to your wrist in vertical fashion. Play guitar noise, pedal noise, scream over it with feedback vocals, add some absurd keyboard lines played by your 2-year-old who enjoys daddy’s hobby, and then move on to the next track, give it an esoteric name, and do generally the same thing. There are several bands like this that have somehow infected the metal community with two diseases, spreading like the plague without the benefit of wiping out anything. The first disease is including it anywhere close to metal (Metallum could learn something from itself in this case). The second disease is the strange tendency to consider this kind of stuff “haunting”, “challenging”, or “transcendent”. It’s not, it has no style, no feeling, it’s the easiest form of noise to create and the worst to hear. It has no soul, no meaning, very little quality, which can be a good thing, but here it’s a windshield crack that starts small and gradually spreads, spidering in front of your face until you’re forced to admit something needs to be done about it. Like most Crucial Blast packages, the artwork is absolutely incredible and it looks awesome, in fact this reviewer went straight to it knowing the quality of releases on the label and thoroughly enjoying the imagery. But sometimes, the lipstick on the pig covers the pig so much you have no idea what sort of hell you’re about to experience and you find out it’s not even a pig. Barely anything of worth here for the ear, don’t bother.