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This album is probably best described as the Swedish version of Altars of Madness. Some of you might be scratching your heads at that, but what I mean is not so much in the actual music itself but the aesthetic that it creates. Relying less on fast paced brutal blasting, and more on creating atmosphere with eerie melodies. The production has that typical Swedish death metal sound, clear and dry, the guitars are a tad fuzzy but are very well defined, creating a dark atmosphere. Most of the riffs are tremolo picked melodies, in fact it's almost all tremolo riffs. The drums are great and varied, a lot of credit should be given to their drummer as he ties this evil masterpiece together wonderfully. The vocals are not quite a shout, not quite a growl, and sound a bit like early David Vincent, and they are very well done. Lots of blasphemous hate is spewed out of the mouth of their singer. There is the occasional spoken word, and a well placed scream here and there to accentuate certain passages. The lyrics are pure evil blasphemy, and are surprisingly well written. Hell I can't write lyrics this good, and English is my first language, so I have no excuse.
Every track on this album is great, there is absolutely no filler at all, even the short instrumental retains the eerie atmosphere nicely. There are even some moments of progression, like on "Before the Dawn" which contains some piano and spoken word, which is intermingled very nicely with the heavy music going on under it. In fact, I wish there were more moments like that on the disc....Heh, I never would have thought I would be asking for MORE piano from a death metal band. Another reviewer mentioned lack of guitar solos as a down side, and I agree completely. When they do show up they are absolutely wonderful, but they are few and far between, and often are very short(maybe 20 seconds of a 5 minute song.) The album does a great job of constantly changing, and keeping things varied.
Some death metal fans may find this album to be too slow and monotonous, and I can see that, because it's more or less true. I don't think there's a blast beat on the entire disc, there are only maybe 2 songs that could be described as being fast, and the vocals aren't growled in the vein of Chris Barnes. But trust me, this album is fucking heavy and down right evil!