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Transcending modern black metal - 93%

Spawnhorde, July 9th, 2006

Quite possibly the best 3rd wave black metal EP ever released, this 4 track mini CD includes around 20 minutes (it could and should have been a 3", but we'll let that slip) of exceptionally melodic black metal with a death metal feel at times. The production is rather crisp, and fits the sound very well. Though this is not really a "band" in the traditional sense (it is Vindsval from Blut Aus Nord playing all instruments and most likely doing drum programming, though I can't quite tell as the drum sound, even if electronic, is pretty damn good anyway), this CD is a brilliant demonstration of black metal "musicianship", as all songs are written perfectly, have excellent climaxes as well as great epic solos. The bass, unlike most black metal, accentuates the recording, providing a disturbingly ample amount of low end to each track along with the double bass drumming, further separating this project from most modern black metal. The first two tracks are perfectly well written pieces of music. The third track, "Tiphareth... And Beams Of Malchuth - After The Five Ones", contains an amazing shredding solo section after a particularly brilliant bunch of riffs for the first few minutes of the song. The last track, however, is easily the best track on the CD. It has a great riff that lasts throughout the song, and it ends with a tapping (I believe) outro which couldn't end more perfectly. Even if this is only twenty minutes of music, I encourage all fans of Blut Aus Nord's early material, people who enjoy newer Deathspell Omega, etc. to pick this up if you can find it...it is hard to find, however. Very, very worth it though. Highest recommendations.

(originally written for RateYourMusic.com)