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I should say, right up front, that this is NOT typical DSO... it has almost perfect production, the songs are more varied, and there is way more depth than the old releases. This is such a deep album that many people will have a hard time getting into it right away (I had this problem, but I realized the genius of the recording anyways).
I guess you could almost say that if Moonfog was a French label, this would fit perfectly. The only thing I can really compare this to is the typical Moonfog sound, but much better done and with a bit of the French BM sound to it. It is really original, the riffs are melodic (occasionally very brutal, though, but not in a death metal way), the drumming fits perfectly, and the bass has a nice, dead tone to it. Vocally, it is varied... he does a lot of voices on this. One reminds me of Satyr a lot, but in general his voice sounds really refreshing. Sounds almost nothing like the shrieking of the previous album and EPs, I must say.
Songwriting is really DSO's forte (as it should be... they ARE musicians, after all). As I said earlier, there is a lot of depth here... it is very refreshing, being that this genre unfortunately has bands like Black Witchery who have the depth of a soul bowl. Songs will plod along at a mid-pace and then just suddenly explode into total chaos, while still retaining the depth and originality of the rest of the album. I dare you to find me 5 other bands that can so perfectly pull this off. There are Gregorian chant samples here and there, most notibly on "Carnal Malefactor". This song could reduce a hardened black metaller to tears. It is one of the most perfect BM songs I've ever heard.
I took off 5 points because it DOES get boring after a while. It might be because it is so long and the songs sometimes sound the same, but this is not enough of a complaint to really tarnish the review. Overall, an excellent black metal album.
Highlights: Sona Fide II and Carnal Malefactor.