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...reaching another level - 80%

HS, June 12th, 2009

First of all: contrary to others I'm NOT completely disappointed by this record. I knew that I couldn’t expect some kind of Hellfire pt. II and it was no problem for me since Hellfire never was one of my favourite albums. To be honest, "Revelations Of The Black Flame" has nothing to do with their earlier efforts. Absolutely nothing. Nevertheless I regard this album as the most evil piece of music these Norwegians have ever created. How’s that possible?

Atmosphere is the keyword. The new style is a mix between black- and doom metal with dark ambient and noise elements. The songs are mostly kept in mid-/slow tempo, they are sometimes very minimalist, and there are hardly any fast parts in the songs. But the songs manage to create an disturbing, cold and evil atmosphere. They never made music like this before, it's something entirely different. "Invocation" is the first song; it consists only of tortured screams and some noise parts, and after three minutes the guitars start to play. It's basically a good opener. There are overall three instrumental interludes which are all minimalist but well done. "Maggot Fetus" is the only track that is fast from the beginning to the end and reminds of their earlier songs. It's fast, primitive and sick. "Uncreation" is again a slower song that develops and gets really fast in the end; I like the solo which brings a chaotic feeling in. To my surprise, even the Pink Floyd cover "Set the controls for the heart of the sun" fits seamless to the rest. If I didn’t read that this song was originally written by Pink Floyd, I wouldn't believe it. This song is dark and bleak; it's like the soundtrack for travelling in a post-apocalyptic, radiation-contaminated landscape.

"Revelations …" leads 1349 in a completely different musical direction and I can say that this album is not for everyone. It's not easy to describe the music with words, or to point out any favourites, you have to listen to the whole album to understand it.

However, if there were a few faster parts or one song more like "Maggot Fetus" I'd give it an even higher rating. But again; this album is by no means bad – but just don’t make the mistake and expect something like "Beyond the Apocalypse" or "Hellfire". Do yourself a favour and listen to it first before you buy it.