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Good but not Great - 70%

Draconist, May 20th, 2004

Originally called “Virgin’s Cunt” this Finnish band formed in spring 1993. After the release of two demos, the band signed a record deal with Hammerheart Productions. Their debut album “Heirs of the Northstar”, released in 1995, was a combination of elaborate guitar playing, atmospheric keyboards, raw and clean vocals, its highlight being the 16-minute epic “Yggdrasill's Children Fall”.

“Autumn Roars Thunder” is the band’s second effort released by German label Solistitium Records in 1996. Production-wise the sound is great and the songs are long and epic. The album opens up slower than their debut, creating a hymn-like atmosphere, which precedes the faster tracks. When it comes to singing the vocals are varied, like in their previous material, between ordinary and typical black metal vocals plus occasional spoken parts. The raw vocals are unclear as usual, but this time there are more clean parts. Which isn’t a good sign! When it comes to reach clean high notes his voice wavers at the attempt and more often than not, ends up singing out of tune and at certain times this gets rather annoying. In general I think this is a good album with interesting guitar riffs but what I like most with this album are the thunderous drums and the keyboards, which at times give you barbarian-battlefield atmosphere. A standout track to watch out for is “Red Sky Over the Land of Fells”, which contains the best guitar riffs on this album and pleasant choir-like vocals.

Apart from the vocals only one thing still irritates me: the lyrics are almost illegible and why were they printed in a different order from the track listing?