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Few can do it better than Satanic Tyrant Werwolf. By "it", I mean creating the most intense and hate inducing(or producing), somber and dismal black metal warfare there is. And I know that's a mighty bold statement considering all the bands that now flood what once was a genre obscured. It seems with this album and other more recent releases from him that he is trying to uphold that tradition. Those who are familiar with Satanic Warmaster and the dynamics of black metal understand this. Those people should also be aware of his prowess in the black metal genre and if you don't then you should go put in the new Dimmu Borgir single which is more fitting for you. It seems that the man behind the name has gone to extremes to keep his physical releases as obscure as possible because he knows what black metal's original intention was - not being accessible to people undeserving of it, the fucking poseurs that are tearing down what is more than just a genre of music, the disgusting beauty that is raw black metal. Does that sound elitist? Well, yes! And STW is more than likely okay with that.
Musically, it seems STW has grown a lot but not to the point of deviating from the primitive sound that I've always enjoyed from him. It becomes apparent with one listen to this album. I'm also assuming by looking at the liner notes in the packaging that he still does nearly everything himself which is impressive considering the drums sound better than on any previous album save "Carelian Satanist Madness" which was an amazing album but not quite as complete of an album as the one reviewed here.
Tremelo picking is something that is essential in this genre. On this album, especially on "Warmaster Returns", it is a very mid-paced tremolo wobble which I like a lot because there is a bit of a groove but then he throws you off balance by speeding up the riffing and drumming dramatically. The chaos continues with hammer-ons and bendy Celtic Frost-type shit that can be heard on songs like "Vampires" and there is also a blistering unforgiving solo. "Rotting Raven's Blood" has definite Darkthrone influences in it, especially on the opening riff, reminding me of "Quintessence" or "Hordes of Nebulah" from "Panzerfaust". The best display of guitar composition on the album has to be on "One Shining Star", a song that brings forth the feeling that good old school black metal does. Sounds only like 2 or 3 guitar tracks on the song which is impressive. There is some kind of synth effect towards the end of the song which adds an eerie twist, making it even more somber and evil sounding. Well done and perfectly placed. My personal favorite track on the album is "Bestial Darkness". It opens with what sounds like an organ and then bursts into raunchy riff after raunchy riff and then a lethal solo to top it off.
Satanic Tyrant Werwolf's vocals are absolutely insane. Perfect. It's nothing really fresh or new about the style but the lyrics are a little more distinguishable on this album. That doesn't mean that the production is overdone by any means. A perfect example of his superior vocals are on "Rotting Raven's Blood". Lesser black metal vocalists could only dream of the raspy rants from Hades that STW does so well. Again, upholding tradition properly. The last song's vocals are very ritualistic and occult-based. The music itself in that song is a dreary synth/keyboard/organ sound. A wonderful outro to a wonderful album.
I'm giving this album a 100% because it's a complete black metal album by keeping tradition alive from a musical, lyrical and image perspective. Every song is top-notch, the lyrics are creative and the artwork is masterfully done. This album crushes the skulls of the weak with a war-hammer. I'm not going to tell you to go and buy this because more than likely, you don't deserve it. You'll probably download it anyways. And if you do, fuck off!