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best Krieg release - 98%

Taliesin, October 31st, 2005

This album is a release of old tapes done in 1998 as a follow-up to the groundbreaking Rise of Imperial Hordes album, which put Krieg on the map alongside of Judas Iscariot as defining the sound of true US black metal. Nihilistic evil and equally inspired by Norse bands and Finnish bands like Beherit, it was a landmark. This album if it had been released in 1998 would have been considered a great successor. To me it is simply Krieg's best album and one of the best US black metal albums.
Why? It has a unique atmosphere that makes one feel the plague theme of this album, the suffocating sense of doom and pain, beautiful though also ugly. This music has ugly moments, and beautiful moments, most of all it is of a whole, each song is part of the puzzle that is left to the listener to listen to and discern what is going on. It is in fact very complex if you give it the time it deserves.
The production is raw and ugly, distorted beyond belief, but that is of course part of the charm. It was a grand day when this was released, for now we can see how Krieg went from Rise of the Imperial Hordes to Destruction Ritual. Also this beats out the lackluster Black House.
Essential.