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Black metal to me, is of the genres I find quite hard to get my head around and interpret the music the way black metal listeners do. I have people left, right and center throwing me Gorgoroth albums and Darkthrone albums (Although A Blaze In A Northern Sky is awesome.) but none of them were doing it for me. The sub par production that is supposed to contribute to the music’s atmosphere was the main aspect that turned me off from the genre, but I believe I have found the gateway into black metal. One of my friends threw me this album and said: “It’s not as good as Pentagram, but listen to it anyway.” I now laugh in spite of this statement, as this album is by far the best that I have listened to. It is an awe-inspiring adventure into the dark chasms known as black metal and sends the listener into a spiraling abyss into complete nothingness. When I listen to this album, (especially on full volume) curtains drape around me and close everything off. All of my senses are honed in to the album and the music hits me straight across the face.
This album is very powerful in the way it delivers the music. It’s fast, raw and Silenius’ shrieks are filled with so much hate and despair, but the album still manages to leave behind in its trail of destruction a beautiful and captivating atmosphere. At times the music slows right down, showing acoustic pieces surrounded by magnificently written synth passages and even the occasional doom metal influenced riff, but much more melancholic, slow and emotional. The rhythm plays a chord progression, which even by it self sounds great, (No moving around the circle of fifths with this band.) but what really ties a noose around my neck and pulls me into the music is the melody that complements the riffs. They are simply beautiful, especially throughout the song ‘Weeping Midwintertears’, which is one of my favorites on the album. Sometimes the music makes you want to cry, sometimes it makes you want to scream with Silenius, and this is the absolute wonder of albums like this: The emotions that Abigor wanted to channel through their music reaches the listener. You can feel the hate that is lying within the vocals. You can feel the emotion and despair that is manifested within the guitar lines. Who knew the most extreme and somewhat ‘evil’ genre of music could be so beautiful?
Complimenting perfectly to the slow riffs are the fast riffs. The are definitely fast and to the untrained ear might sound like rubbish, but if you dive into the music, the atmosphere explained before is still there, but displays a different emotion: Anger. The blast beats are like a jackhammer being driven repeatedly into your head but still, the guitar riffs give you the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, and continue to display the emotional tremolo picked passages. It is hard to explain exactly why these guitar passages sound emotional. You’ll just have to take a listen yourself. Unfortunately the bass is almost inaudible on this album, but I guess you could imagine what it would sound like if it weren’t there at all. The production isn’t crystal clear, but this aspect is the main contribution to the atmosphere of this album. If it had perfect production, I doubt I would get the same feelings as I have explained before.
For the person who doesn’t listen to black metal, I suggest you give this album a go. It may be hard to grasp at first, and a lot of the music may seem like a wild jumble of random notes and crazy drums, but if you delve into it and really try to connect with the music, you will be greatly rewarded. This band didn’t intend to sound evil, like some black metal bands in the scene. They wanted to channel all their emotions through their music, which is what music is essentially about. The standout tracks on this album for me are: 'Weeping Midwintertears', 'In Sin', 'Kingdom of Darkness' and 'A Spell of Dark and Evil.' No tracks on this album are fillers though and all of them are great. These few just stand out the most for me.