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Heavy as FUCK - 97%

KK, July 22nd, 2004

Holy shit

This is the single most brutal, yet beautiful album I have ever heard.

Oden's Ride Over Nordland, the album's three minute intro, showcases just how epic this album is. Horses, gongs, rumbling mountains- it almost makes you feel as though the Ragnarok is about to happen. Actually, it basically does happen on this disc.

A Fine Day to Die-Quorthon brilliantly starts and ends this album with two long, epic skullkrushers, while filling the middle with blistering, skin flaying thrash. You could almost compare it to Reign in Blood, where the two longer songs (although a whopping 4 minutes on RIB) begin and end the disc. Just when you are about to become mesmerized by this song's intro, one of the most gut wrenching riffs ever brings you back into reality and completely destroys you. The song then proceeds to break your face for 7 more minutes.

The Golden Walls of Heaven-The first of the 5 thrash songs on the disc. Fairly straightforward, the song progressively gets better and goes into a sweet riff at 3:33, before ending with a THIRD solo.

Pace 'Till Death- Jesus Christ. Listen to that intro. At the 33 second drum hit, your neck is guaranteed to be wrecked by the end of this song. The lyrics here deal with racing motorcycles or cars or something I believe. 1:50 is where this song turns into a total speed fest that threatens to crush your brain into oblivion. Mirror Mirror on the wall, who's the fastest of them all? Fucking godly.

Holocaust-Probably the weakest song on the album, which isn't saying too much. I think the intro here sounds a little to close to Dies Irae, which is placed right after it on the CD. If you look at the lyrics, the first letter of each line spells "SATAN" and keeps repeating the pattern.

Dies Irae- One of the heaviest songs I've ever heard. Like Morbid Angel's opening riff in "God of Emptiness", this riff sounds like it came from the depths of hell. Blistering speed metal until 2:22 and then- Another one of the most awesome riffs I've ever heard. This song is somewhat comparable to "Equimanthorn" in the way it abruptly breaks down into a slower, chugging riff. Quorthon adds a faster part and another solo before ending the song.

Blood Fire Death- This song is fucking god. In the vein of A Fine Day to Die, this is a more viking oriented song, and foreshadows the transition from thrash/black to the Hammerheart era. The "chanting" backing vocal in this song reminds me of Norfair's music in "Super Metroid", it's fucking great. Somewhere near 7 minutes, the song breaks into a slow galloping riff that almost embodies victory, it's that epic. The song goes back into the main riff and then fades out with acoustic guitars.

Amazing, amazing disc-never gets old and never fails to thouroughly brutalize with every listen.