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The best album of this swedish bastards, no doubt about it. Their previous works were good, classy stuff, but with "Endtime..." they've reached the highest peak so far. What we have here is mix of elements from "Nord" and "Hell Eternal" albums with new touch. Vicious, yet melodic, onslaught of fast (sometimes hyper-fast) Black fucking Metal in style which only this band can provide. We're blown away with furious opening of "Crimson Manifestation" and remain in the center of this sonic whirlwind ‘til it sets us free with fading tunes of "Storms". What hits the most is with how great ease this band can catch listeners attention from the first stroke ‘til last seconds of the record expiring, leaving nothing but path of scorched ground behind. This is war encased in musical frame. Key to the success lies in skilful dosage of tempo changes and riff transitions. No surprise: that’s what SETHERIAL’s known from for years.
All elements of their style developed on earlier albums are present here: intensive, dark melodies provided by guitars which in sound’s character are very similar to keyboard lines (trait that can also be found in DARK FUNERAL music), lethal tempos, truly ferocious vocals (which work really great with the guitars and are rather another instrument) and very thick drumming. Only now the mixture created with this ingredients is more convincing than ever. To describe it more precisely: the content of this CD can be compared to works of NAGLFAR, MARDUK, DARK FUNERAL, IN AETERNUM, even NECROPHOBIC or EMPEROR’s debut album only it's colder, more extreme, frenzied, rampageous and loftier than majority of works by aforementioned bands.
All lineup does great work. Mysteriis proves that he’s talented musician after successfully switching from guitar to drums on the former album. His playing is very disciplined, subordinate to the concept of the material. Wrath delivers lyrical side in impressive manner perfectly working with devilish melodies produced by both axemen. Kraath and Choronzon DO the album. Guitar lines grasp your mind and lead you through all nine songs. Very creative musicians which truly established “Setherial Style”. Bass played by Zathanel is a little bit hidden but you can hear that it’s very active and goes well with the drums.
It’s impossible to pick up best songs. There are no fillers, just killers. It’s one of those situations when you really know what did you paid for when buying the ALBUM. The level is very high through all the time and there are at least a few great, stunning moments in every song. Dozens of them on the whole record.
For me it’s the pinnacle of swedish styled Black Metal and, sadly, another overlooked gem, that's for sure... Best in 2003 leaving even „World Funeral” far behind.