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Absolutely epic and grim - 90%

chaossphere, December 14th, 2003

Split albums can be a double-edged sword sometimes. On one hand, they usually combine two EP's worth of material into a full length release. But, on the other, sometimes split albums consist of one good band and one worthless, shitty band - but not so with this particular one. It's pure quality all the way through.

Moonblood's half consists of four songs, and these are - in my humble opinion, anyway - some of the best they ever did. Fast, but never getting into blast territory, and epic as epic can get. "Forgotten Spells In The Forests Nocturnal" opens up with a blazing, classic black metal riff very much reminiscent of something from Darkthrone's "Transilvanian Hunger", but much more metallic and less ambient in nature. The instrumentation here is top notch - Occulta Mors really outdoes himself here, displaying the awesome command of his instruments which would continue over into his more recent Nachtfalke project. "Bells of Apocalypse" is the other stunning highlight here, melding the traditional fast-tremolo picking melodies with some slow, keyboard-enhanced epic moments. This isn't to say "A Silent Dream Of Impurity" and "I Hail The Night" are slouches, by any means. There's not one weak moment in this entire 26 minutes of music.

Deathspell Omega's 3 songs are considerably thinner in the production department, which initially makes for a jarring contrast when the bass and drums suddenly become much less prominent. Not that the material suffers, mind you - it doesn't take long to get used to it, and the buzzy, obscure mix suits their harsh style of bestial Black Legions-inspired metal perfectly. These tunes are quite a bit longer than their usual 4/5 minute attacks - the first one, "Follow The Dark Path" stretches out to an epic 8 minutes. Not much describing to do here, really. It's relentless, nasty blackened hatred with plenty of searing melody to counteract the intensity, and generally faster than Moonblood's contribution. I haven't actually heard anything else from this band so, unlike Moonblood, I can't compare it to their other material. But if their two full-lengths are as good as this, I certainly have some investigating to do...