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DIE BY THE SIGN OF THE FUCKING KEY!!! - 98%

Estigia666, February 14th, 2003

Here we have it: one of the best, if not THE GREATEST death metal album of all time. Better than any Death, Morbid Angel, Carcass, you name it....Hell, is even a small notch above Seven Churches and that says a whole fucking lot. The secret: the technical genious, but above all the marvelous COHESION that makes all the complicated arrangements unite into one single piece (song).

Oh, and it owns you, totally, from beginning to end. Listen to "Lake of Fire", "BC/AD", "Standing in Blood".....all good riffing and 100% pussy-free.

The cool thing about this is that the songwriting values are never above the technical factor, which is the case among many modern prog metal bands. And yes, i consider this to be prog too (the riffs that scale up and down that are all over this album, the odd timed tempos here and there), but no wanking is to be found here. Well, maybe a little, the guitars do show off, specially in the solos, which appear seemly every five seconds. Plus, no br00tal sillyness to be found. Special praises for Mike Browning. He managed to improved A LOT since his Morbid Angel years, specially in his drumming which doesn't dumb or forced in any way and while he's not as technical as his band partners he does handle the time changes very fluidly.

Oh, and there are keyboards here, too. To enhance the darkness and heaviness of the songs, the keys add a very haunting atmosphere to them. No classically influenced or soundtrack melodies a-la Puritanical era Dimmu Borgir bullshit. I'm talking some seriously sick keys here!

Highlights? All the songs. Trust me, buy this and you won't get dissapointed one bit. If you do, fuck you. Is really that simple. Excellent death metal and yes, prog can be fierce and evil too. "Find me kindness - Find me beauty - Find me truth"? Fuck you. "Cybernetic crafts approaching - through skies lit with fusion discharge - androids from the Gamma quadrant - moving at the speed of death" is more like it. Hehehehe.