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Codex Barathri, unexpected and simply awesome - 97%

Ronny070, January 12th, 2012

This album really amazed me because it wasn't at all what I expected when I saw the symphonic black it said it was. I thought of an entirely different sound than what the final product came to be. It is arranged beautifully and is so unique and so original it leaves you wanting more after you're through listening to the whole thing.

The album opens with "Liber Angelis" and it's really a powerful start, with some orchestra in the intro and rough vocals that really gets you to like what you're getting into. In "Beyond the Haunting", the high-pitched screams and the growls alternate almost entirely except at times when they decide to collide and it sounds really, really good. "Echoes" really got my attention. It has one of the best, catchiest, and powerful riffs that I've ever heard. Also, the bass is more audible here than in most of the other songs. It's simple, but who said simple is bad?

The intro of "Godsman" is exceptional and a solo is accompanied by some keyboard scales, first rising, then dropping and finishing each section with a rhythm guitar/bass finale and ultimately, who would've known, singing during a solo? And if the song wasn't already all greatly done, it stomps at you with another solo with a clean-singing pre-solo passage. "Deciphering Darkness" actually is kinda the ballad of the album without being a ballad. It's so beautiful and the "tormented voices" at the middle of the song... indescribable. "Elemental Dance" opens up with an unexpected scream that is just as good as the remainder of the song. The riff is very cool, and some epic sounding keys along with the great lyrics are truly amazing.

"Liber Daemonis" has a drums intro that's really well-performed and the keys are as incredible as the whole album is. This track really makes the guitar and the bass stand out with a nice and short solo that sounds really good. And the closing track, "Through the Scarlet Forever", is the masterpiece of the album, the "Codex Barathri's" pinnacle of greatness. If you listen to this song while you're mad, upset, or sad, you'll end up killing someone...truly fucking amazing. Every part of this song is perfect and almost has everything you want in a song - maniac laughs, catchy riffs, terrific and terrifying growls, orchestral melancholy, a bass solo, keyboard solo, guitar solo, and, simply put, the most perfect clean vocal singing ever made.

To summarize, this is no traditional symphonic black/melodic death metal album. It so impressive because everything on the album stands out and is performed in a really original way. The vocals are a bit screamy sometimes and the bass could've stood out more, but I think if it wasn't that way, it wouldn't be the great album it is.