without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Revelation 666: The Curse of Damnation isn't quite on par with it's direct successor in terms of pernicious riff assault and bombastic keyboard theatrics, but it's got it where it counts for the most part. This record gets a lot of scorn heaped upon it due to the supposed overuse of synths. This is hardly the case, as Galder's surging riffs lead the odious charge more often than not.
The guitar tone has that blubbery, modern sheen to it that is normally associated with later Exodus and Kreator material. The difference here is that it fits the aesthetics of the album quite effectively. It's not that there is little else going on behind them, but the riffs manage to carve their way through the aural chaos and slingshot directly into the deepest reaches of your ear canal as per their spirited delivery. Galder's style primarily consists of an amalgamation of powerchords and slower, murkier tremolo passages. There are a few solos sprinkled throughout, but not enough to satiate these ears. Galder is a great soloist and he isn't necessarily playing to his strength as a composer in this regard, although the short solo near the end of "Phantoms of Mortem Tales" is a nice touch. The entire opening salvo of "In Black Endless Void" and the galloping verses of "Passage to Pandemonium" are undoubtedly highlights.
With the guitars hogging the reins for most of the duration, the oft-abhorred keyboards are forced to stand in the shadows and only make sporadic advances upon the listener when there are breaks in the fiendish action. There are still a lot of keyboards by most standards, but they are rarely garish or overwhelming. The one moment where they begin to initiate a rolling of the eyes (intro of "In Black Endless Void") the riffs swiftly come in and immolate any chance of stagnancy. In fact, Revelation 666: The Curse of Damnation gets quite fucking heavy at times, like during the post-intro passage of "Obscure Divine Manifestation". That ascending riff leaves nothing but destruction in it's wake, and not even the lurid keyboards that later surface can take that away.
What really prevents Revelation 666: The Curse of Damnation from achieving it's desired malignant impact is a compositional flaw that seems to follow Old Man's Child wherever it goes. Melodies often start very promising, but Galder feels the need to tack a "sinister" dissonant tail onto many of the passages that neuters their vicious potential. "Hominus Nocturna" suffers the most from this, the opening keyboard melody would be much more potent if the last four notes were removed or changed. To help demonstrate my point, listen to the keyboards that come in during the beginning of "Unholy Vivid Innocence". No sinister tail, a million times more melodically appealing. In fact, the band can put together some monumentally searing melancholic passages when they feel like it, which puts the keyboard to their best ethereal use. I can generally go either way regarding Galder's tortured shrieking, but he sounds pretty decent and gets the job done.
The percussive duties are split between genre-mainstay Tjodalv and relative unknown Grimar. I honestly couldn't discern much of a difference between their performances, but Tjodalv at the very least proves that he has learned to blast adequately in the time between Spiritual Black Dimensions and this album. In fact, Revelation 666: The Curse of Damnation can be viewed as what Spiritual Black Dimensions could have been without Mustis hogging the spotlight with his garish and trite synth textures. I still prefer In Defiance of Existence, but this is certainly not far behind.
It fathoms me as to why this release didn't get the praise it deserves. Galder, the main man behind the band fueling out the vocals, guitars and synthesizers rips it up on all departments. The rhythms seem to fall into place in every way. Nothing bad to say about the album. It features guitar riffs that are a combination of bar chords galore fitting the music quite well alongside aggressive tremolo picked riffs with blast beating drums. The music on here is entirely original sounding and well keyed in synthesizers that augment the guitar. Sounds like Galder tunes to standard on here, but I could be wrong.
The vocals are quite unique and no variation whatsoever, though that doesn't mean they're bad, it just means that there's no variety in them. It's pure harsh throat outputs with riffs that are also wholly original and I would conclude that this release is better that "The Pagan Prosperity". That would be because of the production quality plus the progression of the band, mainly Galder getting better with his musicianship. Don't expect anything but brutality on this melodic black metal album. I'd say that the 8 tracks here there is no boredom or monotony.
Guitar is gripping here and the synthesizers help augment the melodic black metal riffs. They don't drown out the music whatsoever. The production sound is way better than "The Pagan Prosperity" and the music is catchier, at least to me that is. I think that Galder really improved dramatically since Old Man's Child's debut. He has not cashed in like other bands, he's still producing albums that are given top notch ratings. I'm eager to get more of their releases since it seems as though fans of this melodic black metal band have been giving each succeeding releases high ratings.
I would have to say that I fully enjoyed the music on here. It's aggressive, original, catchy, memorable, triumphant, and amazingly played out. I think that the only thing that should have been left out are the brief lead guitar. All of the rhythms are awesome though especially the melodic riffs combined with the bar chords. The synthesizers make the release sound darker. Galder's vocals seem to have a tad bit of echo to them which pans out perfectly with the music. There's a lot of blast beating on here mixed with various other tempos. Aggressive as I've said and entirely played with precision.
If you're into bands that also play melodic black metal like Naglfar, I'd say that you'd also conclude that "Revelation 666: The Curse of Damnation" is well worth picking up. Amazing that they never changed their style of music over the years. Galder has been in other bands such as Dimmu Borgir. But I think Old Man's Child stands alone in it's genre and plays melodic black metal that is totally and utterly triumphant. Even though this release dates back to 2000, I still give it praise and dishes out music that's totally awesome. No cashing in, just pure devastation to the eardrums. Pick this one up!
I've been familiar with Revelation 666: The Curse of Damnation for many years now and I still have trouble deciding what I really think about it. On one hand some of the songs are awesome and this album is home to some of the best OMC songs; however, the production can sometimes really get into the way of any other potential enjoyments.
First off, Revelation 666 is the most keyboard-drive OMC album. No matter which track you listen to, you can't avoid them at all. This is good news for people who like keyboards, but for those who thought they were a hinderance on other albums, now would be a good time to step away. In addition to keyboards, electronics are used almost exclusively here, making a small hint of industrial influence.
Other than the heavier use of keyboards, this is still your typical OMC album, not too much different from Ill-Natured Spiritual Invasion and Pagan Prosperity, that is, the songs are catchy in a mainstream sounding way, but borrow some common ideas from older death and heavy metal bands. Besides the keyboards, the other main difference is the production. Not only are the keyboards used extensively, but they have a fair amount of distortion that easily washes away the sounds of other instruments. It's one thing to not be able to pick out the riffs frequently, but sometimes even the vocals are buried. This comes up in songs like "Unholy Vivid Innocence" - an otherwise decent song, but tainted by subpar production. In addition to production issues, there are a number of silly song-writing ideas. Galder's vocals in much of "Obscure Divine Manifestation" sound incredibly gimmicky and unnatural.
If you can get past the screwy production, this album does indeed have a number of pros. It turns out that not all songs are affected by the crappy production and for some songs, the bad production actually enhances things! "Phantoms of Mortem Tales" is catchy as hell and is well supplemented with strong force of electronic sounds. The song puts me in a trance and I love how it fades out in the end. It only enhances the trance-like feel. "Into Silence Embrace" suffers a bit from the washy production, but makes up for that in terms of songwriting and performance. It's a totally badass song and I love how the drums and keyboards build up in the beginning to make something powerful sounding.
Revelation 666 is a double edged sword in some ways - most of these tracks are very memorable. If you absolutely hate these tracks, they'll be stuck in your head for a long time. If you like just a few of these tracks, you'll probably listen to them joyfully many more times. In my personal opinion, all these songs range from decent to awesome. If parts of the production were remastered, the quality of these songs would be unstoppable and this would arguably be one of the best OMC albums. However, the distortion in the production is something you'll have to overcome and it won't happen overnight. OMC fans should still check this out as it contains many of the main ideas present in other albums, as well as people who enjoy catchy, easy to listen to metal, but those who hate keyboards and synths will have nightmares about this album.
Highlights: Into Silence Embrace, Phantoms of Mortem Tales, Passage to Pandemonium
I'm well aware that Galder is almost universally lauded as some sort of black metal genius, but I have to say that the reason for this eludes me. This release is a perfect example of how not to make keyboards work in a black metal album, in my opinion - the keyboards are simply much too overwhelming, to the point where they utterly dominate the entire listening experience. I mean, used right (and economically), keyboards can certainly add atmosphere to a track - see for instance "Hate" by Impaled Nazarene (from the album "Ugra-Karma").
The OMC album starts out decently enough with "Phantoms of Mortem Tales", a track that actually possesses a rather good combination of melody and heavyness. Track three, "In Black Endless Void", is also somewhat tolerable (as is track # 6, "Obscure Divine Manifestation"), but the album as a whole is so severely dragged down and compromised by the impenetrable bog of keyboard-mud that permeates (almost) every minute of the CD.
It is entirely possible that some kind of metal beast lies buried beneath the layers upon layers of keyboards, but from my point of view it's well-nigh impossible to discover, let alone actually get cut or stung by its fangs or singed by its fiery breath. Oh, and the lyrics seem contrived, if not downright stupid, too.
So, is this black metal? I wouldn't know, because everything is submerged in keyboards. Well, you might ask, are there any blast beats? I wouldn't know, because of the fucking keyboards. Melody? Probably, but I'm only able to hear the keyboards' melody.
In short, this album represents such an excess, such an overindulgence in terms of keyboards, that it, for me, becomes pretty much impossible to listen to. On the other hand, if you think that the entire combined output of Depeche Mode and Erasure is somewhat lacking in the keyboard department, then this album is most likely right up your alley.
After an album Galder more or less created and performed by himself (“Ill-natured Spiritual Invasion”), he re-recruited some of his old crew, and introduced a couple of new members into the line-up. The result was stunning. With “Revelation 666”, Old Mans Child moved forwards quite a few steps in their own evolution.
The album is an attraction by itself. Steady from the start to the end, its purpose to catch the listener and make one focus on what’s happening succeeds all the time. Old Mans Child has always used a lot of melody and symphony, and this release is no exception. With a lot of mixing between guitar melodies and synth, they’ve created a beautiful wall of sound which escapes not one listener. This can be related to Dimmu Borgir to some extent, although I wouldn’t concentrate on that fact considering this was released before Galders involvement in that band. Besides, Old Mans Child does it so much better anyway.
The riffs and melodies are really what make this special. Aside from a few try-outs, usually the riffs stay heavy and the melodies are more “out there”, constantly pushing themselves and going towards new directions. This is just how it should be made. “Obscure Divine Manifestation”, anyone? This is a perfect way of demonstration, as it fits the description as a hand into a glove. Major tempo changes, violent screaming and vile riffs while alternating with the oh-so goddamn beautiful melodies! Atmosphere / Ambience / Character? Call it what you want. Just recognize what Old Mans Child can do with it. This should be considered a classic. If you like striking melodies over crunching riffs, you should not even hesitate buying this.
The drumming is interesting here and there, such as in opener “Phantoms of Mortem Tales” where they’ve taken folk-influences into the picture. This is interesting stuff, which makes it a lot more easy-listened than their previous efforts. Sure, the blastbeats and relentless speed still exist in some form... or just enough for it to be sufficient.Galder screams and twists his throat like before, and while he may have a pretty average tone to his shrieks, it’s his pronunciation of the English language which makes his vocal performance interesting. Always trying to sound as vile as possible, he spits and lashes out the words, instead of the “normal” way of screaming. This sounds very evil and good most of the time. His performance here is under no circumstances faulty.
So, that’s pretty much the conclusion. Fans of former releases by this band may feel tempted to buy this, and should by all means do so. This is, after all, a strong build upon their earlier works. If you’re insecure what this is about, give it a few spins before actually laying out cash on it, but if you feel positively struck by this review, you should, as stated, not hesitate at all.
Fave tracks: Phantoms of Mortem Tales, Hominis Nocturna, In black endless void, Obscure Divine Manifestation
My first thought when listening to this cd was "The keyboards and everything fit perfectly...but can it stay like this?" Oh, my friend, I tell you it did.
Phantoms of Mortem Tales opens up slowly and builds...and builds...until it finally gets going, and it rocks when it does. The "groove" of Old Man's Child is definately apparent, especially in the drums of this song. The guitars are fairly decent as well. No Morbid Angel-style solos or anything, but the guitars are still great. The keyboards in this song are great as well, as are most of OMC's keyboards. The vocals, in my opinion are better than Dimmu's, so if you like Dimmu, you'll love this cd.
Hominis Nocturna starts out very well with awesome keyboards in perfect sync with the other instruments. This song, however, later, seems to kind of become non-melodic, then jumps back into a great riff. The vocals are the same as we've come to expect from OMC, so if you like 'em, great, if not, you won't like this song (or this cd for that matter). Drums as always are fantastic, with punchy double bass at times and great "drum riffs" throughout.
In Black Endless Void is one of my favorite songs on the album. Great guitar riffs perdectly mix with the slow but amazing drums and as always great keyboards. The keyboards especially stood out to me in this song because of the beginning. OMC, as I've stated before, has awesome keyboards, that perfectly combine slow, yet at times fast and complicated gothic-style sounds.
Unholy Vivid Existance is one of the worst songs on the album. To me, it feels too un-melodic for OMC's style, and feels too "thrown-together". I actually skip this song, or go directly to the "solo" near the end. Bottom line, if you like Old Man's Child's style, you more than likely won't like this song.
Passage to Pandaemonium opens with simply an amazing guitar riff and great, punchy drums, but goes into the un-melodic style again...then jumps back out when the keyboards start to get louder. It is my opinion that the drums need to be less obnoxious and the keyboards louder, because the keyboards are the glue that hold this amazing puzzle together. When the pace picks up later on however, and the keyboards start to get more noticeable, this song significantly improves. I would give this song a 75% out of 100% if asked. It's a good try, but doesn't do justice to OMC's amazing capabilities.
I whole-heartedly support the above review for the reccommendation of Obscure Divine Manifestation. This is a mind-blowing song, and is one of the best on the album. It has almost Hypocrisy-style vocals at times, and is a great change in pace. It also is one of the faster ,and for sure more of a well thought-out song than most on the album. The drums and guitars perfectly sync in parts, which creates an amazing sound that has to be heard to be believed.
World Expitation is a good song, don't get me wrong, but again feels too thrown together to be on the album. The bass needed to be louder, because at the parts where you can hear it, it is amazing. The growls in the song, however, prove yet again that Galder is a genius vocalist. I can't imagine how much his throat hurt after this cd...
Into Silence Embrace, the last song on the album, is a good outro for this cd, because it leaves you wanting much more. One of the better songs on the album, this song is great in that the drums and guitar sync very well (you hear me, Galder? DO THIS MORE OFTEN!!!) The keyboards, as in most songs, are great. Both driving and fast, they prove to be one of the backbones yet again in OMC's music.
Well there you have it. Revelation 666, while not a perfect album, is still great, and should be owned by Dimmu and OMC fans everywhere.