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I'll be the first to admit, I liked Death Cult Armageddon a lot when it came out. "Progenies..." produced a dark, epic atmosphere that drew you in, and "Vredesbyrd" might have just been one of their best songs, at least in the later parts of their career. Only recently have I heard the edited version of "Vredesbyrd" but I've been familiar with the edited "Progenies.." for a while now. So let's start with that one. First off, they cut out probably one of the most essential parts of the song. In the original, I guess it would be best described as the second verse. I'd say this verse was pretty important - it served as the middle man between the emotionless and not-so bombastic first verse and the epic sounding clean vocal passage. Listening to the edited version here, it just sounds funny, misplaced, and ultimately stupid. There are also a few minor parts cut out (which results in making the sound much crappier), but you may not notice it too much at first. However, on "Vredesbyrd", the editing is mostly dumbing down the sound. The guitars are weaker, small and short passages are cut off. Overall, the entire atmosphere takes a huge hit and that atmosphere was what made the original so great. Why would they shorten such songs anyway? I remember when I was younger many of the more popular Metallica songs would never get (as) shortened on the radio.
So, you'd be foolish to pick this one up, especially since you can probably find each song on youtube or something and give it a listen if you're that curious. Don't even get this for the laughs either. Sometimes when bands butcher re-releases or other bands do really crappy covers, it's funny, but this isn't the case here. It's just a pointless release.
The Vredesbyrd single is such an epic fail. Don't get me wrong, both songs featured here (the B-side being Progenies of the Great Apocalypse) are both fine tracks and definitely stand out on the mostly unremarkable Death Cult Armageddon album. The problem is that both the songs are cut to shreds, shortened for play on the radio. I don't really understand why, Vredesbyrd is originally less than five minutes long, which isn't exactly an Opeth epic. There's all sorts of little cuts that I recognize having been taken from it and it's really irritating. If a riff is played twice, it's cut down to one. If there's an instrumental section before the next verse, it's cut out completely. The song feels like it's in an immense fucking hurry to be over so the radio station can play Metallica again or something. The same goes for Progenies, all its little parts are carefully picked at and sectioned off slightly. Oh wait, what am I talking about, an ENTIRE FUCKING VERSE IS MISSING. Christ, it's not even worth putting on the radio if 25% of the song isn't even going to be played. I don't understand why the songs had to be edited so much, they would've made a great single if they were in their entirety. Instead, they sacrifice their state of being epic for a state of being short and that is completely unacceptable.