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Gets better with each listen - 95%

mjollnir, March 14th, 2014

This veteran Polish band have been around for about 23 years and in that time I have not really been real familiar with this band. I have their first full length, Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic), as well as their previous, Evangelion, but I never jumped on their bandwagon. They began playing black metal and now have a blackened death metal sound to them. The buzz leading up to the release of this album was huge and when it was finally released, I decided to acquire this album to see what all the fuss was about. Good thing I did because I found this album to be a very enjoyable slab of metal that may well just make me go back and look deeper into their previous work. This is a very powerful and emotional album that you can feel when you listen to it. These guys have really pulled something off here and will probably be a contender for album of the year (yeah I know it's kinda early for that).

The album kicks off with the highly powerful first single, "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel". This song is as epic as you can get with huge doomy riffs that go into some balls to the wall blasts. Nergal's vocals are angry as fuck as he growls not at you but through you. This guy means what he says...period! The leads are far back in the mix on this one but that only adds to the atmosphere of this song. This is a really powerful song and sets the mood for the rest of the album. Songs like "Furor Divinus", "Messe Noire" and "Amen" just keep the momentum going by just being these HUGE fucking songs that you can feel. There are plenty of riffs here from doomy death riffs to some black tremolos as well. The guitar work is done extremely well and the songs are well written.

I need to make special mention of two amazing songs, one of them is "Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer". This song if fucking GODLY. It's fast and epic with killer riffs, some great leads and great hooks. Midway through it gets really epic with actual horns, not keyboards but actual trombones, french horns, etc. These guys really went all out to create a memorable song here. The other song is "O Father O Satan O Sun!". Holy shit is this song epic. Great riffs with Nergal's angry growls over some great cleans that just pull you into the atmosphere. There's a lead on this album that could have been on any 70s hard rock album and gives this song even more dynamic. At this point I can not be called a big fan of this band because of my lack of familiarity but this is probably one of the best metal songs I've heard in a really long time. As I said, these guys pulled out all the stops.

So here we have an album that is very close to perfect. It does have a very small cheese factor with the word "of" spelled "ov" in the lyrics throughout this album but it's not enough to take away from the overall epic sound of this album. This is an album that I like more and more with each listen. It's essential!


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