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Brutal black metal - 81%

WickedSaint, November 4th, 2007

There's just one thing to say about this as a whole: For a black metal album, it's really brutal. Though in it's own way, not in the raw and almost crudely produced 1349 "Liberation" album, not in the bland and uninspired tremolo picked power chord riff whoring of Dark Funeral and yet not in the riff-heavy death metal way. It's simply just fast with lots of blastbeats and brutal sounding guitars.

The thing that stands out the most to me with this album is the drumming. It's not overly creative or anything, but it's fast and technically proficient and it certainly gets the job done, setting the brutal mood. The production of the drums are perfect, the snare doesn't get lost in the mix while blasting, nor does it dominate everything when playing non-blast passages, either one or the other has a tendency of occurring way too often in black metal.

The guitars have some extremely nice riffs with a nice mix of tremolo picking, slower playing of small melodic themes and broken chords and nice chugging riffs, though absolutely not in the Gothernburg melodeath-vein, but as fills and transitions between riffs, very tastefully done.

The vocals are your standard screeching, not much new to get here. Same goes for the bass playing, standard and follows the guitars most of the time.

The songwriting on this albums is pretty good. There doesn't seem to be any extremely well thought out arrangements or so, but it keeps being fresh, it doesn't stale up or become boring or predictable, and it's not just a wild hodge-podge bunch of riff after riff thrown together, seemingly at random. Like I said, it's tastefuly done. Something you don't see too often.

This album is very easy to get into. It's straight up brutal stuff that you can bang your head to while sitting in your room, striking an Abbath-like pose when you feel that a certain part of a song is grim enough to deserve it. Pretty much your easy-listening muzak of brutal black metal. Unfortunately, it means that the music is pretty laid bare, there's not much depth to it, not like certain albums where you find something new each time you listen to it, you get it all down pretty well the first times and after that, it offers many good listens of brutal black metal without obstacles to your listening experience, but it's nothing that keeps it spinning in your CD player on repeat in an endless search for new details in the music.

To sum it up, it's brutal, it's fast, but it lacks depth. Still it's great for listening to when you want just that, when you don't want to listen to technical death metal to get your daily fill of brutality and speed.