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Classy, distinct melodic black metal - 88%

Milo, September 5th, 2005

Researching the french scene, I’ve found this great EP and I’m glad I did. Taliándorogd plays melodic black metal with hints of thrash and death in the riffwork and some nice “symphonic” keyboards. Oddly enough, this is the only true BM material released by the band (not counting the demo), since they decided to follow a different musical path with their full-length debut.

The album’s vibe is genuinely black metal, mostly because of the keyboards and vocals. However, some moments of the riffwork are not that far from a well-elaborated thrash album: The riffs don’t rely on ultra-fast tremolo picking but instead, they go for a midpaced chugging (and some slow paced melodic death metal strumming). The rhythm guitar’s tone is also pretty thrashy and I don’t think some of these riffs would be out of place in, say, a Stone album like “No Anaesthesia”, well known for it’s techincal and creative thrashing. The riffage is very solid but I think it lacks a slight bit of memorability. Some songs lack that kind of “lead riff” that makes one section of a song soar over the others. Still, if you overlook this minor quibble (and I’m sure you will), you’ll get some nice riffs and in good amount. I could even say this album is “headbangable”, an adjective usually not applied to BM.

The drum performance is really good, with some driving beats and rolls, along with double-bass that follows the pace of the music (more midpaced than fast). The drum patterns have something of defiant and marching and the blastbeats are played in different speeds, giving variation and effect. The drum sound doesn’t overpower the other instruments.

However, the highlight of the music is given by the excellent keyboards, symphonic parts and guitar solos (yes, black metal with guitar solos). The key player seems to give a different context to every song: The intro (which should be an outro, at least IMO) sounds cold, while the two next songs sound powerful and imponent, just to fade into an aura of monumental sadness (third song). Sometimes, they are eerie, somber…just listen and feel them by yourself. The very well composed solos, when allied with the keyboards or marching along the drum patterns create a very remarkable and lively sound.

Every song shines but the prize goes to “The Glimpse”. This song was crafted so perfectly, starting with a poignant keyboard line, which is followed up by an excellent lead riff. There’s also a great riff which sounds like something out of the first Dawn album (Naer Solen Gar Niber For Evogher): a slow, melancholic tremolo strum, violated by the dissonant blastbeats. The song fades away nicely, along with the melodies.

A very worthwhile EP, full of musical talent, recommended for for any metal fan.