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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 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", 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 with 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 the black sheep of Limbonic Art's discography, but is a good pick-up for any symphonic black metal fans.
Choice cuts: "Twilight Omen, "Nebulous Dawn", "Grace By Torments".