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THE forgotten Viking/black album - 94%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, August 25th, 2008

After three years from their great debut album …Again Shall Be, these Norwegian masters of raw Viking black metal released another excellent effort that can be easily considered as a milestone for the genre and their best album ever. If the debut was already very good, it’s with this one that Hades really reached their peak in creativity and goodness. This album is necessary if you want to discover the true early raw black/Viking metal because this band is unmatchable for obscurity and epicism. This The Dawn Of The Dying Sun album is a real milestone for everyone and a gem that must be re-discovered and appreciated once again.

Our journey begins with one of the fastest songs here, the title track. This song is the classic example of heaviness, obscurity mixed together with a massive dosage of epic influences on the guitars’ arpeggios. The bass drum is quite fast but, as you know, Hades never pointed on the sheer speed, preferring a more doom approach. The tempo is never so fast on this CD and all has been made to be as heavy and doom as possible. The black metal screams are always evil and somehow more suffered than the ones by other black metal acts at the time.

It’s amazing how it’s simple for a song like “Awakening of Kings” to transmit such emotions through simple but evocative epic passages that start with the bass to end in the ones by the guitars. Like in the past, the use of the acoustic guitar sound under the powerful and black carpet by the electric one is the winning point to create such good atmospheres. This great mix and opposition is perfect. The tempo is constantly changing but the main word is obscurity and they really point on creating apocalyptic but somehow melodic parts.

“Apocalyptic Prophecies” is far better when the keyboards enter in the middle while the other parts are a bit too generic but it’s not so important. In those parts, anyway, the black component is heavier and it achieved the goal of bringing more darkness to an already pitch black sound.
Finally, we arrive to the real masterpiece of this album. “Alone Walkyng” is the real hymn to the epic melodies alternated to raging black metal parts. The acoustic arpeggio is a little piece of history in this genre as well as the piercing cries by the singer. The melodic, acoustic parts are simply awesome and the following “Crusade of the Underworld Hordes” follows this path again with more great acoustic parts.

The clean choirs are never gaudy or a bit harmless like the ones by the other Viking acts, but they are almost occult and completely obscure, following the same sound’s direction. “Red Sun Mocks my Sadness” is great for its simple but evocative structure. It consists of flute sounds by a keyboard I think and the epic feeling is always perfectly mixed by the always present burden of sadness, preparing us for the massive “Pagan Prayer”. The guitars are so powerful and majestic in their slow march while the choirs are simply amazing. This tempo is almost ritualistic and the violins inserts are so original and suggestive. It could seem a strange thing but they go perfectly with the rest of the sound.

This album always astonished me and any time I listen to it it’s like a neverending pleasure. These Hades are one of the most underrated and overlooked realities in this field and I recommend this great album to those who wants to brush up their knowledge in this music and discover a truly important piece of music.