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I was given this CD as a gift, and did not expect much from it at all. Maybe it was something about the artwork, or the reputation of Zebulon Kosted (which is odd to most I think), but something told me to set my goals low for an enlightening listen. This was not the case at all, in fact besides some minor production issues, and long gaps between the two different secret songs, I was very pleased with this recording!
Many, many, many different styles of music are fused together on this release. It may seem a bit disconnected in parts, probably because it is, but after you look at the subject matter of this release and read the lyrics it makes a lot more sense. If you were to listen to one song on this album and never come back to it, you would be disappointed. It's a concept album, through and through, and it finds a way to frighten and mystify you simultaneously if you are willing to invest almost an hour straight through to understand it fully.
The back of the case lists all of the lyrics straight through as one piece, and make mention of 11 different dimensions. I counted all of the different segments of music on the album and there are exactly 11. Coincidence? I think not. Traveling through different dimensions to Rachid Abdel Ghafour may mean traveling to very different kinds of places that have different sounds attached to them, and if this is the case it is well reflected in the music.
The Black Metal part of this album varies greatly between the three tracks that feature it, from a traditional Norwegian second wave feel, to a modern USBM anthem and even an abstract and frightening journey into the Avant Garde. Chopping up all of this is into strange sections is complex space synthesizer music, and acoustic guitar intro's and outro's. Their is even a touch of some sort of Experimental Noise Metal, which I guess can be considered a genre, but I've never heard anything like this.
There are definite drawbacks to this release, but they are fairly small, and don't hurt the overall mood of the release, or distract too much from the experience. The production on the first track, I, specifically the mixing, leaves you a bit confused, with the bass as loud as the guitar and both coming in second and third to the drums as far as volume. The arrangement of the different segments, while quite innovative can also be a bit perplexing, but forgivable. I didn't like waiting 9 minutes and 3 minutes respectively for the last two segments of this three track full length, but I put up with it.
Their is a sense in my mind that this album is intended to be intentionally strange. I would not suggest that all Black Metal fans will enjoy this album. I found it to be what I needed at the time I listened to it, and each time afterwords that I was willing to be patient with it, I enjoyed it in a different way. I am happy that I own this, and I have the feeling I will continue to find new things hidden inside of it for years to come. I look forward to being surprised by the next Zebulon Kosted full length.
My English is not good, hopefully you understand this. I bought BETWEEN THIS WORLD AND THE NEXT not knowing the band Zebulon Kosted well except earlier album Dragons Blood, but am surprised with what high level this album is! Rachid Abdel Ghafour seem to be sort of crazy person on these songs, jumping from strange sound to strange sound, but keeps good Black Metal going for more than half of the album, so I liked this experiment. Maybe this music is not for everyone, for me it was new and interesting.
The song I starts with synthesizer sound that build into old sounding Black Metal like first Ulver album Bergtatt. All instrument is balanced, with good bass and harsh screams. Nothing technical, but enough guitar riffs and fast drums to keep my attention. After 6 or 7 minutes of this the music changes to acoustic guitar which is nice and fits the Metal. A good start on this for me, but the next song is better.
II the second song starts with longer synthesizer that is strange. I do not own this kind of music, so for me it was not normal on Black Metal album, but not bad. This goes away and is replaced by acoustic guitar again, this time even better than first song. When Black Metal starts again this song is the best on the album. Melody and good change from one riff to the next make this not so fast song very special and original. Clean singing and cool guitar solo are adding quality to this.
III is strangest song of all, and is more than 30 minutes. Wood flute is played but in ways that are not normal, and many on top of itself. Then a song that scares me like the band Silencer begins. Screams like mental patient with blast beat and crazy guitar make this song insane, or sound like insane person made it! Then the riffs change to Blut Aus Nord type and this song gets more strange. After many changes back and again, which are all good this song becomes space sounds again like other synthesizer part. After this goes away then silence for many minutes. After this long pause starts another part which is Noise with Metal and screams. Then another pause, and many acoustic guitar on top of itself 3 or 4 times, and then echo guitar. Then the album is done. Very different than other Black Metal.
All words to I, II and III are one long writing located on back of CD case, reading this explains the journey to other dimensions. For me this is first story in Black Metal like this, and reading with the music makes you understand why this music is so strange. It seems like science and religion with these words, not normal writing either, but I was not surprised after hearing the music. These words are made for each other well and tells very good story together. This is the favorite of my new albums, I think if you buy it you will be happy with it!