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Cold, Murderous Music..... - 90%

TheJizzHammer, May 20th, 2008

What better a companion to my current black metal binge than 'Defending The Throne of Evil' by Carpathian Forest? My thirst for black musical art is seemingly unable to be quenched, but this album comes pretty damn close. The 'rocking out' commenced the second I popped this CD in, and I keep on coming back for more. Nattefrost, a man who always stood out to me among the other black metal frontmen/personalities, really wowed me with this release, due to the fact that every time I looked at this guy or read something he said, my reaction was generally just a big 'WTF!?' Fueled by my curiosity, I found that this oddball of a musician is actually putting out some damn fine tunes.

The one thing about black metal that stands out to me, and that everyone knows about, is the production. Generally VERY shitty and low quality, this is a staple in black metal, and fans of the genre generally embrace it. I know I do. It helps me appreciate the atmosphere and feel of the art. On this album, production is a little more crisp. Everything shines through quite clearly and sounds really clean. Surprisingly enough, however, I can still enjoy a bit of atmosphere on this album, with the help of the keys. There's only a hint of this atmosphere present, though, but I can't really complain as there are so many things about this album that seem so right-on.

I would have to say that my favorite aspect of this album is the vocals. Nattefrost brings both blackness and brutality to the table with his throat. The all-out screaming and shrieking he performs in typical black metal fasion still fit really nicely here, as do his wheezing/whispering/shrill vocals on 'The Old House On The Hill'. On top of this, there are lower pitched vocals layered along with Nattefrost's higher voice to not only add a metric-ton of brutality, but also create a contrast that sounds just great. The vocals on this album really impressed me.

The drums sound really good here, but there isn't much special about them. They fit, and it works out well. There are some really cool fills, some double bass work that I enjoy quite a bit, but they aren't really ground breaking or amazing. That's not to say the drums are lacking, however. As I said before, they sound good, they fit, and it works out well.

'Cold Murderous Music' features a little sax - something I thought to be quite odd for a black metal album, but hey, why not? I like it, and doing something a little different can turn out really nicely if you do it right. This is not the only Carpathian Forest album to feature such instrumentation (Morbid Fascination of Death), so I guess the band really enjoys it as well.

Overall, a very enjoyable black metal release. I will enjoy this for many listens to come, and I am really glad to have made this discovery.