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Most of it is excellent - 85%

MaDTransilvanian, November 29th, 2008

Starting as a rather bland Cradle of Filth clone on their debut EP, Blinded by Faith got their shit together and released the excellent Under an Occult Sun three years later, while on the eve of the release of their second album they released this live album along with the DVD version. I got this album for next to nothing at one of their live shows which incidentally sucked, mostly because of the venue's cheap sound.

Fortunately the Imperial Theatre where the album was recorded featured a much better sound than the pitiful excuse for a show that I had seen, saving the bulk of this live album. The production is top notch, some of the songs actually sound better than their studio versions, which is truly reaching the full potential of a live concert. Blinded by Faith play 8 out of the 9 songs off their masterpiece and peak album Under an Occult Sun, the only ignored song being the Submit to the Summit, probably the weakest track off the album anyway.

Luckily the only play one of the songs exclusive to the debut EP (along with Reptilian Shudders, which is on both the EP and the first album) and only two songs off their decent but kind of boring second album. Those two songs show the lack of experience the band had with their newer material, the performance being inferior to what they have to offer on the older tracks while the songs themselves are bland then compared to the material off the first album, the songwriting is just not on the same level.

The melodic black metal approach perfected on their debut album is at the top of its game here, the songs sometimes sounding better than the studio recording while none of the beauty of the symphonic parts is lost. The drumming is top notch, no flaws are visible and the same can be said of the guitars and the growled vocals, at least on the old tracks. Behind The Placid Mask of the Starlit Cosmos, the song which is exclusive to the debut EP and which the singer boasts is “almost a classic here in Québec City by now” is, unfortunately, shit, an island of crap in a sea of excellent music. The vocals are overall pretty good, on par with the studio work of the first album, although the singer's comments to the crowd between songs are occasionally quite retarded, especially the one about their early song being a classic.

Imperial Collapse: Live In Quebec City is a very good live album which is worth hearing by both fans of the band and people interested in melodic black metal played very well, the live setting doing wonders for the music's quality. Highlights like Under and Occult Sun, A Perfect Imperfection, The Triumph of Treachery and The Last Missive, all excellent songs off the band's first album, never sounded so good. The fact that this is basically the first album played live alone makes it worth getting. Blinded by Faith were at the top of their game and with the sound of their last album I have my doubts as to whether they'll ever be this good again.