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After the brilliant masterpiece "Carpathia - A dramatic poem", my expectations towards this album were surely elevated. I also knew that the band would probably not be able to recreate such an intense album but I hoped that their third official output would at least have the same quality as the diversified debut album. When I heard that this album would contain several songs about ancient Egyptian mythology and wolf stories, I was really excited because as a history and geography student and big fan of horror novels in general and especially werewolf stories, those two topics are among my favourites.
But musically, this album is a little deception. The band decided to do a heavier album than the previous one and erased most of the symphonic instruments and dramatic structures. The great and diversified "Black pharaoh trilogy" and the very catchy Horror Metal hymn and brilliant live song "By our brotherhood with Seth" are surely really good stuff, but the rest of the songs prefers to go in a Thrash Metal direction.
The band is ready to sacrifice the style and uniqueness it created with the first two outputs to addict some more ordinary metal fans with heavier songs. The opening double "Amala and Kamala" and "She-wolf" is a very heavy, straight and dark opener and has a catchy chorus melody but it doesn't have the atmosphere and magic that fans were used to know from this band. The new songs are less inspiring and the band even repeats itself within the songs. "The demon of the mire" wants to proof to the metal world that Horror or Gothic Metal can be really straight and heavy, but the song is way too long and doesn't offer any surprises, intelligent creations or intense moments within almost seven minutes. It is surely the worst song on the album and maybe the worst one that this band has ever written. For a band with normal standards, this song would be a good average song, but for a high quality band like The Vision Bleak, this song is way below their talents and possibilities. "The eldritch beguilement" isn't much better and sounds almost like a Megadeth song in the beginning and has much in common with "The demon of the mire". At least, the band follows a certain pattern on this album that I would call Gothic Thrash Metal. What saves this song and makes it a little bit more interesting is the well done guitar solo towards the end. But usually, I don't listen to this band because of an interesting guitar solo. "Evil is of old date" goes into the same direction but has at least a very interesting dark and doom introduction that raises the tension before you feel a little bit confused and sad as the song turns once again into a heavier and "thrashier" piece.
It is a sure thing that the band didn't want to copy itself on this album and create something new. This is an innovating idea and very courageous and I have the greatest respect for this decision.
But I don't get a positive approach to the new heavy or thrash style and prefer the more traditional songs like the three parts of the Black Pharaoh Trilogy and the excellent album closer.
For those who found the band interesting on the last albums but thought that they were not dirty or heavy enough, they will surely like this album but those ones who appreciated the first two albums entirely will have some difficulties with the direction of this album.
As I only like four out of nine songs, I must consider this album as an average record and the band's weakest effort until now. This is the only band's output that I don't regularly listen to. Personally, I am very happy that the band didn't exactly follow the pattern of this album and created a more traditional and yet very interesting follow up three years later.