without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Despite that Carpathian Forest is now so mainstream and popular amongst hordes of teenagers (especially thanks to their black and roll style, cool image and cheessiness of their new albums), they managed to create something special eight years ago. Black Shining Leather is a quite underrated album in comparison to their later works, which fact is totally incomprehensible to me. Facts are actually simple, this is their best release and at the same time one of the best albums black metal ever had to offer. It has everything which is so precious in this genre from the legendary status, musical values and finally the great atmosphere of this album to the deep and moving lyrics.
1998 was the time when both Nordavind and Nattefrost were not known well and probably this was the only time when they put their whole energy and effort to make album as true as possible. This, perhaps, opened the gates to their future career but certainly not because this album was commercial but rather because it was mysterious, original and controversial. Therefore, it is obvious that there is no single tune nor lyric made for public and only careful deciphering and drowning into this masterpiece will reveal it.
Surprisingly, Black Shining Leather is not another typical Norsk project and the music on this album varies greatly from standards. Despite some fast tempos and pure black metal riffs like in the title track or Sadomasochistic, the overall image of this album left after listening is rather full of misanthropy, alienation and desolate landscapes. Those visions are inevitable because the album is full of slower bass based songs such as The Swordsmen or In Silence I Observe or even more atmospheric ballads like The Northern Hemisphere or Death Triumphant. Drums are very specific due to the guest appearance of Lazare, they have kinda wooden sounding. Lyrics somehow mix sexual perversions with masochism, murder and nordic nature. The effect is so unusual, it plays strongly on listener’s imagination and keeps the person entertained for the whole length of the cd. It is even more effective because of Nordavind’s inhuman occasional screams and Nattefrost’s wild main vocals ( not horny ones like on newer albums).
All this plus the instrumental track Lupus in the middle(with thrilling whispers), and the genius The Cure cover at the end, makes this album totally unique.