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From Norway comes this release by Hades. Hades was one of the early Norwegian BM bands, and also one of the bands to take part in the burning of Fantoft Stave Church. Their hatred and contempt for Christianity and the modern world is all over this release which seems to look with longing back to a Barbarian age, this is less Viking metal then Barbarian metal, but there is also a very intellegent and subtle edge to it which helps to make it a more enlivening listening experience, rather then "barbaric" bludgeoning like most bands with that kind of conceptual territory.
The songs are usually with a mid tempo epic beat, with guitars that are played most often with a sense of dignity, less strumming then many bands, although there are some trem picked moments. The bass is present yet doesn't really exist too strongly. The vocals are buried under the massive amounts of guitars, but are very effective, reminding me much of Kanwulf's vocals in Nargaroth.
There is a lot of use of acoustic guitars, which sounds really good, and gives it a very atmospheric feeling. One can tell the biggest influence on this band was the Blood Fire Death album in particular the songs Blood Fire Death and A Fine Day To Die, the way the acoustic breakdowns sound and occur in the music. However they do go beyond their influences to create a very original sound.
If you like Enslaved's old cds but want something more atmospheric and a bit more darker then pick up this cd, it's hard not to recommend it, every about it is really good, and very medieval/barbaric feeling. Check it out.