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Well, it's dark... - 80%

noinnocentvictim, December 22nd, 2005

...and I suppose that's what they were going for. The vocals were described perfectly as sounding like "an operatic popeye," and they're rather weak, but vocals are never a large part of a black metal production. Yes, as other suggested, the guitars are a tad repetitive, but isn't that what made Varg's "ambient black metal" so wonderful? Except, in this case, rather than expressing loneliness or hatred, it's simply eerie darkness.

I would go to the trouble I usually do to write a track-by-track review, but I don't think it was Mayhem's intent for you to listen to certain tracks more than others. It seems to be instead a work that you should listen to as a whole album, not skipping any tracks. This is probably because of the large emphasis on atmosphere in this album, like in most black metal. The band never loses focus on this atmosphere, but detracts with constant, hammering drumming that loses its effect after the first few tracks.

This album is enjoyable in the sense that it creates a dark atmosphere, and I don't think that the repetition detracts from the guitar lines. What stopped this album from being spoiled for me was all the negative reviews I had read prior to listening to it. So begin listening with not expectations at all, and you will be very pleased with what you find. I highly recommend this for black metal fans, or just fans of atmospheric music.