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Standing atop their namesake, looking around at the carnage spreading forth, Megiddo stands above all. Building upon the past, from Bathory to Hellhammer and Venom, this abomination rises above all dictating that THIS is all that black metal was and will be. This is easily the best black metal album I have ever heard, and it's not hard to see why. Blasphemies most foul lurch from the darkest innermost reaches of Chorazaim's mind, while Blaspherion pounds the drums of war to some of the catchiest guitarwork this side of Laaz Rockit.
When I was initially describing this to my brethern, I compared this to Festering Sore's "Chlorine for the Gene Pool". Though the two aren't stylistic equals, they are similar in the effectiveness of their delivery. Both have wicked production values that makes the Sonata Arcticas of the world writhe in a cage of torment, while still managing to deliver their message with perfect clairity. This is not a pretty album, but it is a thing of beauty.
Lethal Sabbath influenced thrash combines exquisitly with old-school black metal which manages to be catchy as fuck while utilizing the corpse of God's lamb to call forth the Four Horsemen. This isn't exactally a riff-o-rama -- no Coma of Souls here. For the most part these songs rely on 2 or 3 riffs, but they're some of the best ever written. Direct and succinct without dragging out for far too long like some of their labelmates. (I'm not going to name names, but a 20 minute song needs more than 1 riff!)
I feel the best song on here is probably Slaying the Nazarene; that riff under the chorus is one of the best riffs ever written. Four Suns is another amazing one as well, with the haunting spoken vocals under Chorazaim's growls. The Heretic and both the speed metal covers are very good as well.
There isn't a second on here that's wasted. You have no excuse for not owning this, Satan or otherwise. Much like Apocalyptic Raids, if you do not like this, you do not like heavy metal.
It has been a few years since I first had the pleasure of hearing this album right about when the existence of Barbarian Wrath records came to my attention. Here was a label that pedaled very primitive, oldschool, and dirty forms of metal and this was my first exposure to both the label and the band Megiddo. If the idea of an ultimate statement of intent can be used here then this album represents just that for both of these entities. Far from being erroneously categorized as merely a “retro” band, Megiddo provides a perfectly realized vision of metal as it was at a certain point in time. Shards of primitive thrash and black metal are combined with small but effectively used doses of traditional metal to produce something that is very harsh and filthy but also very memorable and eminently listenable. Blaspherion’s drumming provides a minimal backbeat to the proceedings with mostly simple punkish thrash beats as his mainstay. The heart and soul of Megiddo belongs to Chorazaim who provides the guitars, bass and vocals. The guitar tone here is simply awesome and has since become associated in my mind with how the “perfect” black metal guitar tone should be. Thick and disgustingly nasty with plenty of treble and crunch allows all the riffs to be clearly identifiable and provides a ton of heaviness but takes away none of the raw evil nature of the music. Vocally much the same could be said as Chorazaim’s hoarse and much distorted voice simply adds to the music to give this album a sense of pure evil mixed with excellent songcraft. Picking stand-out tracks is a challenge as everything is so good but a special mention of the third track The Oath needs to be said. Imagine Quorthon at his most epic Hammerheart moments and that is what you will find on this track wrapped in Megiddo’s very distinct delivery. Great Razor and Exciter covers are included too to round the album out. Timeless.
Well, I got this CD from the king of Germany himself (the esteemed BlackGoat – Tyrant of Barbarian Wrath records!) and to my great surprise this is a murderous classic in the annals of black metal history. ChorazaiM’s satanic brainchild is nothing short of a shocking masterpiece.
The riffing is quite aggressive (but not without lacking melody) as the guitars carve up and down the sides of the mind like two Grim Reapers late for the harvest. Not one song suffers from having bloated jams, solos or song structures as the writing is, short, direct and quite slicing (to the bone). This blood feast is quite pleasing and maybe favorite tracks so far include "The Heretic" and "Blackened". (Though one would be hard-pressed to choose amongst these tracks.) This of course is all aided by the well spaced and attacking production (while lacking the poor sound of a rehearsal recording) provided by a well-handled PC system.
All in all, a healthy worship of Venom, Bathory and many other great bands has paid off in what could be one of THE most important black metal albums in the black millennium. Not one bad original song (and two killer covers of the bands Razor and Exciter) and not even one AVERAGE moment. This CD is a must.
Album: The Devil and the Whore
Label: Barbarian Wrath
Release Year: 2000
I've been eagerly waiting to hear Megiddo's debut full-length for what seems like forever. Their demo CD, "The Final War", is an impressive slab of old-school Black Metal- even though it was merely a compilation of their two demos, and even though it had a drum machine rather than live drums, it easily outclassed most of the new albums I've heard in the last three or four years. By the time "The Devil and the Whore" arrived, I'd developed amazingly high expectations for this release.
It blew them all away on the very first listen, and only got better from there. The first thing I noticed was the live drums- they improve Megiddo's sound immeasurably, as one can easily hear by comparing the re-recorded songs from the demos with the originals. The musicianship on the other instruments also seems to have improved.
However, the most impressive thing about this album is the songwriting. This has taken a giant leap forward from the demos- there are four new Megiddo songs on this nine song album (along with three old demo songs and two covers), and all four of them are easily the best things Megiddo ever released. Take a listen to the eerie, haunting strains of "The Oath". Even without the lyrics, the music here gives me an impression of the eternal march, an unending journey... exactly the subject of the lyrics. You'll rarely hear a song with lyrics that match the music as well as this. The lyrics for the epic "Across the Shores/Four Suns..." are equally great, the very definition of cold misanthropy. Best of all, the lyrics are printed in the booklet this time, so we can all rasp along.
Do what you have to in order to get this- it's one of the best Black Metal albums I've ever heard. It's limited to 666 copies, and may be acquired from the label.
Best Tracks- "The Oath", "Across the Shores/Four Suns..."
Review by Vorfeed: http://www.vorfeed.net
This album is, without a doubt, THE BEST Black Metal album ever released. Period. End of fucking discussion. Yes, others are very good, but none so as this.
Guitar tone: fucking killer. Riff-work: simple, groovy, and heavy. Vocals: ear-piercingly tasteful! Cover art: Behold the unholy comic book of doom! Yes dear children, this is the album that you should be blasting in front of your orthodox Christian grandmother to eliminate all remaining years of her life.
"The Devil And The Whore" - catchy as hell! Great riffs! "Blackened" is just as catchy, though it begins with a moderate pace and then goes total fucking thrashtacular half-way through the song. "The Oath" - second best track here. Catchy riff, sweet as hell lyrics! "THERE ARE NO CHAINS WHICH CAN HOLD ME! NO SWORDS WHICH CAN PIERCE THROUGH MY SKIN!" And of course, the one and only guitar solo on the album and what a fucking number too. Melodic, simple, catchy as hell. "Slaying The Nazarene" - groovy guitar riff - I've seen my mother dancing to this song before, and yes, it's as funny as you can imagine. "The Heretic" is total fucking thrash mayhem, it doesn't get any better than this... or does it? "Across The Shores" is definitely my favorite song here. Epic, doomy, evil... and ten minutes long. Simply amazing!And then of course we have the excellent covers to end off the album! The last song is simply some thunder crashing in the background. Cool but I would have been happy with "Take This Torch" as the closing track. The thunder does work though.
All in all, this is THE essential Black Metal album to get. Get it now, before Satan rises in full glory to crush all who stand in his way... except for those who possess this album, which is simply one of the greatest metal albums of all time.
Wow, I'm the first to write a review of this? If this is not the epitome of black metal, it certainly comes close. The atmosphere here is quite incredible - a result of the production and the riff work, combined with some downright insane vocals, that are dark as Hell while remaining PERFECTLY comprehensible. Yes, when spreading your message about the general totally coolness of Satan, it helps if the listener actually understands you.
We start with "The Devil and the Whore" - this is almost slowed-down speed metal. Not QUITE thrashy enough to be thrash, but still, the riffs are there. The guitar tone is vicious - total buzzsaw effect. Some people hate this production, but it is crystal clear, just quite distorted. Nothing is "blurry" or improperly buried in the mix. Everything comes through with purpose, and that purpose is evil.
Then, "Blackened" - my favourite song on here. This is total thrash metal. Not very fast at the beginning, but nonetheless, the riffs are definitely something out of the first Artillery demo, the Sabbath influence worn proudly. "PAAAIIINNN!!!!" Prepare to be bludgeoned, while the most vile blasphemies are delivered to you in such a way that you'll find yourself humming them the next day. The song is perfect for headbanging for seven minutes - it is long without being overlong. Starts off brutally midpaced, and then by the end gets really fucking fast and gives you nice fucking whiplash.
Then, we have more in this vein: "The Oath", "Slaying the Nazarene", and "The Heretic". The intro riff to "The Oath" is total Tony Iommi worship in style but not in actual content - where did Chorazaim come up with something that original, and that incredibly memorable???
"Blackened (The Circle Complete)" is followed by the epic "Across the Shores". This is a very cool combination of doom and thrash - again, total Sabbath in the riff work, and you are forced to headbang whether you like it or not. Oh yes, and of course all sorts of happy little lyrics about dancing elves can be found too, not to mention the greatest drum triplet since Raining Blood.
Then, we have two covers: "Violence and Force" and "Take This Torch". Both of them are speed metal classics, and thus they are definitely the fastest songs on this album. They are very well executed, especially "Take This Torch", which is given a new dimension of evilness - the original Razor song sounds like it's about escape, while the Megiddo version is more about being passed the torch, and congrats, Satan's got you too.
The outro is just that - one final blast of evilitude. So what do I like about this album? The fact that it is tr00 and nekr0 and all that? Hah, fuck that. It is GOOD!! It has great atmosphere and monster riffs. If you want something that Black Sabbath could have come up with if they had stepped out of the crack haze for a bit and actually strung the lyrics together into competent songs - then combined with thrash riffs to force headbanging unto death - this is the album for you. Fans of old Sodom, Hellhammer, Bathory - Venom too, and also fans of Razor, Sacrifice. Hell, everyone can find something that they'd like about this. So quit being a poseur and bitching about how the production doesn't allow you to take the band seriously. If you cannot get into the atmosphere, try looking past it. You'd probably find it far more enjoyable if you let yourself.