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Melodic, yet, not crappy - 93%

peer, October 7th, 2005

Old Man's Child, a black metal band who aren't exactly the most respected in their genre. In fact they are probably the most hated after the ex-Black metal bands Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir. Because they share some members with the terrible two? Because they include melody in a genre that's supposed to be raw? The use of keyboards? The fact that they're fairly popular? Who knows. But this isn't reflected in the quality of their music. Personally I think it's a good thing to share the two most talented (ex-)members of those two bands, namely Galder and Nicholas Barker. As a whole Old Man's Child looks like this:

This album is arguably the finest work Old Man's Child has ever put out. Contrary to some of the band's earlier work, this isn't drowned in keyboards or synths, something that might have put off some people. The keyboards are used appropriately, only to create an atmosphere or add a touch of melody. And this is done with great skill. The production is crystal clear and sounds really great (So what they didn't record in some cellar?) The keyboards are more in the background, where they should be. They give the album a dark and mystical sound, suited for the genre, there are even some chanted vocals to add to that atmosphere. The other vocals have a layered effect and sound good. The guitars and the drums are the most prominent. And with good reason!

The riffs on this album are superb, Galder is certainly a talented guitarist. Every song contains at least a couple of creative riffs and here and there a nice solo. The guitar work has quite a bit of Death metal influence and it certainly sounds a lot fuller and chunkier than other black metal. And they mix very well with the keys, there's even some acoustic work around, mainly intros but 'In Quest of Enigmatic Dreams' is fully acoustic and instrumental.

The drums sound perfect in the mix and they really are some of the best I've heard. Barker is an amazing drummer, despite of being so hated. He does some great blast beats, but he's more than that, he has some wonderful fills and his double bass work is furiously trampling and fast as lightning. He's really the driving force of this album, excellent stuff.

I can really say this is a very enjoyable album, great production, brilliant song writing, mixing melody and occult lyrics with speed and aggression of the drums and the guitars. And even though the sound of this album is too full and melodic to be accepted by the elitists this is a strong recommendation.