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The second album from an exceptional Polish band - 90%

bimu, July 24th, 2005

This is, simply put, an excellent follow-up to "Firefrost Arcanum". It differs from its predecessor in many ways, though. I feared that because of Orion's duties in Behemoth and Deray's in Vader, Vesania would not be motivated enough to record anything interesting. But fortunately, this is not the case.

First of all, the comparisons with Emperor are not as obvious here as on the debut. Surely, some riffs ("Rest in Pain", "The Mystory") and the use of keyboards are still quite similar to what we can hear on Emperor's albums, yet most of the elements of Vesania's music cannot be so easily likened to Emperor any more.

The most striking difference, when compared to the previous album, is the production, which is less organic and more processed. This makes the album sound a bit similar to Anaal Nathrakh, yet here the riffs are far more distinguishable. Processed are also the vocals, which sound like a mixture between Anaal Nathrakh and Deathspell Omega to these ears (there are even Attila-sounding moans on "The Mystory").

The drums are very tight and do not resort to constant blastbeats. Overall, the drumming here is varied, interesting and technically impeccable. Due to the production, "God the Lux" has a certain 'mechanical' tinge to it, which took me some time to get used to, but in the end I think the compressed, artificial production works fine in the context.

The small interludes are still present in Vesania's music but they are not as atmospheric as on "Firefrost Arcanum". They are not offensive by any means, just more of a filler and do not attract much attention.

The keyboards are used mostly as a secondary instrument. Still, they do often play quite elaborate parts ("Synchroscheme") but mostly they are not high enough in the mix to really stand out (unless you are a keybords-in-metal-hater in which case they will hurt your ears even if they are barely audible). Sometimes the keyboards form a very atmospheric background ("Posthuman Kind"), sometimes they are very prominent ("Phosphorror").

The songs are well-structured and the riffs vary vary from quite melodic to rhythm-based ones ("God the Lux" with its 'industrial' opening). The transitions between these parts are very fluid. Overall, the album has a more compressed and less loose feel to it than "Firefrost Arcanum".

I have one major complaint about the album. What the hell is the point of including the 20-minute silence in the last track? It's neither original nor adds anything substantial to the album, it's just annoying and stupid. Same idea was passable on Ulver's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell", if only for its novelty a decade ago, here it is just completely pointless.

I recommend this album to people who don't fear things 'modern' in black metal. It's a great work from a very busy band.