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Shortly after the disappointing The Ultimate Death Worship, Limbonic Art decided to call it quits, claiming the well of ideas had naturally run dry. Years later they reunite in epic fashion on 6/6/2006 and give us what was to be the final Limbonic Art album featuring Morfeus: Legacy Of Evil.
The three year hiatus did work well in many respects, as this is a far superior release to their previous LP. At first blush, I noted a vastly improved production job and drum machine. The oft-maligned drum machine had slowly been improving since Ad Noctum - Dynasty of Death, and is finally convincing enough to make a case against the inclusion of a human drummer. Limbonic Art was always meant to be a duo, as Phantasmagoria later proved in disasterous fashion. The production is the clearest of any Limbonic Art release, with a nice crunch to the guitars and clarity for all of the layers upon layers we are familiar with regarding these guys.
The six-strings deliver some of the best riffs Limbonic Art has ever written, such as in "Twilight Omen" and "Nebulous Dawn"; the latter of which may be the most aggressive cut on here. The riffs and melodies are dissonant to the point of near absurdity; and the band almost trips over itself in this regard, but puts the burners on at just the right time to keep things dark yet incredibly epic. The keyboards are still present, and are slightly more prominent than on The Ultimate Death Worship. Morfeus pens some great symphonic backings to compliment the chaotic riffing. "Twilight Omen" opens with a great symphonic section that sounds straight out of In Abhorrence Dementia, and "Grace By Torments" is the epitome of darkness in musical form.
The keys sound less plastic and fake than on previous releases, but they still seem to rely on a flute patch that has always sounded hokey and MIDI to me. There are also plenty of throwbacks to older material such as the layered, operatic vocal sections that pop up in many places. Limbonic Art went out of their way to make the album more accessible, with more total tracks featuring a shorter playing time each. The shorter cuts tend to work better, as the opener "Cosmic Funeral of Memories" and "The Seven Doors of Death" are both overlong and simply spin the tires for their entire duration. There just aren't enough surprise elements on some of these songs, almost like the band backed themselves into a corner when they decided to drop the bombastic keyboard theatrics present on their first three LPs. Relying on this riff-centric formula can only go so far, and about half of these tracks suffer as a result.
Regardless, Legacy Of Evil is consistent in its sound and would have been a great final chapter had the band decided to throw in the towel once Morfeus departed. As one final note, I have to address the amazing album artwork, get the vinyl to see it in its full glory. Morfeus is a great digital artist, and should consider offering his services-for-hire to other bands. Legacy Of Evil is definitely a black sheep in Limbonic Art's discography, but it is a good pickup for any symphonic black metal fans all the same.
After half a decade in the shadows, Limbonic Art return and with a new album and it’s a good one. However, their sound has changed which is seemingly inevitable after such a long absence from the musical scene. While it may frustrate some, the new change definitely isn't a bad thing.
Legacy of Evil features a more aggressive sound that wasn't present in albums such as Moon in the Scorpio, it sounds much more like Satanic black metal now than symphonic black metal. Here's why, the guitar riffs are usually heavier, faster and more aggressive than before, the drum machine is blast beating, and the vocals are more aggressive then they were before (more on that later).
As implied above, the more "Satanic" sound means the music is a lot less symphonic than usual. Prior to this (Epitome of Illusions seems to be the unique exception) Limbonic Art were able to mix the guitars and symphonic elements together quite well, creating a sort of equilibrium in the music. Now, the orchestral arrangements are low key and are not as prominent in the music. For instance the first track for example, the synths are still there but the guitars dominate.
Now for the vocals, Limbonic Art used to use clean vocals quite a bit; they used to sing in an operatic fashion, in order to add to the symphonic elements of this album. Well, now only one track features clean vocals and they are only in the song very briefly. The black metal vocals now are much better in my opinion. Before, they sounded like they were sad, now they are much more aggressive and angry sounding which makes it sound like a different vocalist is doing vocals. I would have thought so.
Finally, the album art deserves a mention; we've seen a return to the artwork which can be found in Epitome of Illusions and the like. To be honest, this was a bit worrying; after all some bands return to the old artwork when they make a comeback and when you listen to the album it sucks, as if the album art is trying to trick the listener that the band is still in their creative prime. There were no such problems with this band; they are still releasing good music.
I may have implied in this review that this album is a lot like Epitome of Illusions. It isn't, from what I've heard, it's completely different to anything Limbonic Art have ever released, although it still has their signature sound. I have only listened to this album through twice so far, so admittedly I don't know the album that well, so the score may increase (or decrease for that matter) when I become more familiar with the album. That being said however, this is a very strong return and while the change in sound might annoy some fans who were hoping for a more traditional sounding Limbonic Art album, it won't disappoint.
Conclusion: The above is recommended for purchase only.
Limbonic Art is everything what a symphonic black metal should be. I got real upset when they disbanded in 2003 but was extremely happy when they regrouped and on such an epic date 06/06/06 (amazing). They do such sort of symphonic black metal that even brutal black metal fans respect them. Limbonic Art and Anorexia Nervosa, I believe are the best symphonic black metal bands out there because they don't involve folk, pagan or gothic elements nor they get carried away with symphonies and that's the reason that their songs are not cheesy. Well, here we are talking about Limbonic Art's latest work "Legacy Of Evil", wow ! what a name, the album title contains two of my favourite words, "legacy" & "evil". If you're curious about the drum machine, then yes, they're still using the controversial drum machine which has worked great for them in the past and is still doing some fine work. This is a very moderate album, the songs have some fast parts, some slow parts and some real fast parts making this album a perfectly balanced album and the art work is pretty decent as well. I want to tell you that this album is a little faster, brutal and intense than their previous works with great production.
Daemon vocals are amazing, the guitar riffs and electronic elements are nothing short of what they should be i.e. spectacular. Clean vocals are present in few song but they sound full of wisdom and are there for very small periods. Limbonic Art's fans will without any doubt love this album and it won't even hurt newbies, it'll mature their taste and they'll have better understanding of the genre after listening to this album.
The first two songs are standard black metal songs, they're fast with some slow parts but the third song "Grace By Torments" is an amazing song, it heavier than the first two songs, there's emotion in that song which can easily be felt and this song takes you to place where it is sadness everywhere and everything is barren, this is an amazing song. In the fourth song "Infernal Phantom Kingdom", in the middle of that song Daemon vocals convert from black metal shrieks to somewhat death metal growls but the there's a twist in the song when black shrieks return (it sounds good but its not something out of this world). The title track is a solid and powerful song. The atmosphere is nicely created by these talented musicians as it can be felt in the sixth song "Lycanthropic Tales", the vocals can be enjoyed the most on this song. The next track "Nebulous Dawn" begins with an epic atmosphere and from the first moment you realize that this is going to be a great song, everything in this song is perfect, the vocals, the riffs and most of all the drums sound spectacular and Daemon vocals sound different on this song because he has not held anything back and tried to express himself as well as he could, a treat for any black metal fan. "Seven Doors Of Death" is a fast, powerful, heavy and an amazing song, in the middle of this song Daemon sounds very much like the vocalist from Dimmu Borgir but that doesn't affect the song, this song is a must listen for every black metal fan. "Twilight Omen" starts with some strange keyboards followed by some clean vocals backed up by Daemon unclean vocals but you can easily understand what he's saying here, as soon as you get pissed off that what a fucked up boring song this track is then suddenly the song takes a fast route dramatically and starts sounding like extreme metal, thisis a good song if you remove the first three minutes from it. As soon as the last song "Unleashed From Hell" starts, you get the great Burzum feeling but then the song speeds up and the band is at its best here, everything is brutal, fast, powerful, this song is a pure delight to my ears and looks like that I'll be listening to it for a long long time, this is the best song of the album, infact its Limbonic Art's best song that I've ever heard.
I want to give this album 100 marks because I have great respect for these musicians but I'll be modest while ranking them because there are some disappointments in this album, even though they're very few and might be negligible for new listeners but veterans will feel it. Overall this is a great album, better than their previous releases and a must for every black metal fan.