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I honestly don't know why this album is so celebrated. This album brings nothing original to the table. Although this album is considered by many to be black metal, this album was done long ago in the doom metal scene. However, the originality of this album isn't the problem. The REAL problem is the fact the songs just aren't that great. The songs for the most part, just aren't that interesting, the guitars and the drumming aren't technical and the even though the clean vocals are good, the "harsh vocals" just suck.
First for the songs, as mentioned above, they just aren't that interesting. There are no solos to be found on this album (at least I can not remember any) and the guitar riffs are pretty simple for the most part. There is nothing wrong if the songs are simple, Cannibal Corpse, for example, have some pretty interesting songs which are simple, however this is not the case here. The same can be said of the drumming, don't expect to be wowed by intense, fast complex drumming, just prepare yourself for some pretty average drumming. What's surprising about the drumming being so mediocre is that Kobro, the drummer of Carpathian Forest does drums here. Judging from some of the Carpathian Forest songs I've heard, he's a very good drummer, why he held back here is a simply mystery to me. Another problem with the songs is that there were some sound effects (e.g. random electronic noises and beeping) added to the songs which were totally irrelevant and added nothing to the song overall. In fact, they detracted from the song. Quite simply, these sound effects shouldn't have been there, had they not been added, I would have looked upon this album more favourably, only marginally though.
Now, for the vocals. It's very important to have a vocalist who suits the style of music you’re playing. The guy is not a bad clean vocalist and his deep vocals suit the music quite well. The problem is when he starts doing black metal vocals. There are two problems with this, 1. they are in the background, 2 he sucks. To give you an idea of what he sounds like, recall what Maria Sharapova sounds like when she’s hitting a tennis ball. If you can, you will know what he sounds like. I am not trying to be a smart ass or anything here, he really does sound like that. Thankfully however, about 70% of this album is clean vocals and some songs such as Heart of the Ages have no black metal vocals on them. But, it's extremely difficult to appreciate the music when he's doing his annoying black metal vocals. For example, I was enjoying the song, The Divinity of Wisdom, but he’s vocals drastically weakened that song and, it wasn’t the first time either. There is also a female vocalist on this album, although she only features on one song, which was a shame because she did sound quite nice.
There are a lot of ambient sound breaks in this album which are nice and do create a sort of, nice peaceful atmosphere. Sometimes, they have whispers mixed into them, with a soft, slow acoustic guitar being played in the background. I thought this was a pretty nice/cool idea.
In conclusion, this album is overall lacking. I was really expecting big things from this album, but came away disappointed. At the end of the album, I paused for a moment and said, "So, that was it?" I failed to realise what was so great about the album and still don't see what's so good about it. So, in summary this album isn't the worst thing I've heard, but it falls miles short of my expectations and what it's hyped up to be. A nice thing about this album (I thought I might throw this in here for the hell of it) is that it has nice art work, but art work alone doesn't cut it.
Conclusion: The above is not recommended for purchase, get it only if it's given to you for free or if you really want to listen to it, but if you don't you're not missing much, believe me.