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Top of the heap. - 88%

speedemon86, October 2nd, 2005

Mother of pearls! This album may very well be the greatest that 2005 had to offer, even if we're only three quarters of the way through the year.

Given a lack of bands that really go for a blackened death sound, and the lack of quality material from the otherwise well reputed God Dethroned and a consistent crushing output of the well loved Behemoth, where else can one really go? Behemoth really doesn't have that raw BM feel anyways, which really begs "Where can I get my blaspheming brutally?".

Right here boys and girls. 38-41 minutes of crushing evil (depends if you have the bonus track. Unfortunately I do not). All kinds of it too. Fast, slow, noisy, egyptian flavored, clean, distorted, melancholy it's all over the place, and it all flows well.

"The Cruzifixus - Anus Dei" is most likely my favorite track at current time, much less on the album. I can absolutely not think of a better way to open this beast up. There's of course the latin intro (most likely from some b-movie of the horror variety), creating a rather oppressively dark atmosphere before the music hits. And it really does hit, with a sound that's basically an Immolation style with a bit less chaos and a but more traditional of a production. The chorus is especially pounding, the vocals are very unique to this band and this band alone. One will most likely notice that there are keyboard/synth/symphonic type accents on the reoccuring riff that first appears about 37 seconds in. I'm not much of a supporter of keys, but this is sparing, and perfectly makes that riff stand out and a head should probably bang at those portions of the song more than any.

The drums are definitely worth mentioning here. All the blastbeats are relatively wellplace and varied enough to maintain energy. I love the cymbal work as well, because it perfectly accents the music, but not overdone.

"Bleeding Salvation" has a more thundering approach and variance in tempo, while the proceeding "Forcinationium..." has more BM flavor and a slightly epic feel, despite being less than 3 minutes long. Evidence of magic.

"Sepulture of Hypocrisy" slows things down, and just kind of crushes whatever charred remnants are left of the listener. I hear this and see big stone hammers crushing the weak of heart and mind. The title track has some good trade-offs between the guitarists, and a thrashy death feel, especially the break around 1:46, which sounds like Slayer all over again. That might be a bad thing for some, but I'm nowhere near intimate with Slayer's catalogue like some, so it's not all that derivative to my ears.

"Swarm of Rats"continues the already displayed excellence, and "Kings Shall Be Kings" starts out with an almost Burzum-ish distorted chord line.

"The Crown Massacre" is somewhere between the first track and the title track, but completely fresh.

I'm really fond of the last track, maybe because it starts out with (dare I mention) Dark Funeral type melody that doesn't last long, and goes into a split clean/distorted melody which turns into a countermelody when the other set of guitars come in, all contributing to a very lamenting feel.

So overall, this album's a killer, and everybody needs to check it out. Right now. This album should have at least a dozen fellating reviews and it doesn't, which is a travesty. Give it a listen, you'll be glad you did, and at least another mile away from salvation, because that's what you want, right?

In closing, it's worth noting that the lyrics here are pretty silly, in that classic obsession/compulsion dealing with raping Christ. But if you're here for lyrics, especially from a very Austrian black/death outfit, I have to wonder how in the world you got here.