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Mystical, Creative, Powerful - 96%

AmiralMauth, February 21st, 2014

The Veil of Osiris is one of the most creative black metal albums I have ever listened to. This is quite a statement, especially given my familiarity with other masterpieces that pushed the boundaries of the genre when released. But let me try to qualify it.

It's very rare that one comes across an album in which everything--the vocals, the guitars, the percussion, and even the bass--comes together so perfectly. Complicated riffing doesn't crowd out vocals or rapid-fire drumming; vocals don't steal the limelight from the guitar's distorted shrieks and mystical solos; and all the while, percussion is there to form a stable, powerful base for the rest of the music to rest upon.

One of black metal's trademark patterns is repeated guitar patterns that are often tremolo-picked and so heavily distorted that they become a wall of noise. Children of Mäani follows this style to a degree. Distortion is there, but it's not so heavy that the intricacies and subtelties of each guitar part are lost. The result is the perfect showcase for the band's lone member (!!!) to push the limits of his guitar and compositional skills. Countless times this album has made me feel like I'm hurtling through unknown distances of the cosmos, and the guitars are a big reason for the power Childre of Mäani has over me. There are a lot of black metal bands out there that have shitty guitar solos, or few solos at all, or who step into nu metal or other genres for inspiration for what should be chilling, powerful, mind-opening passages. Children of Mäani's riffing is precisely what black metal guitar should be; even masters like Infernus from Gorgoroth can learn from this album.

Vocals aren't the shrieked screams that masters like Hat of Gorgoroth of Malefic of Xasthur can produce. These vocals are more like death growls, with the occasional rasped scream that makes me wonder if Vindsval ever had any contact with LLN, also from France. I have little to no idea what the lyrics are about, but this has never stopped me from enjoying metal before. The voice work is powerful and persuasive, especially when it interplays with compelling, old-style metal riffs as in the album's third track.

The Veil of Osiris ends like it begins, with complicated riffs and an atmosphere that often makes me lean back in my seat and shut my eyes just to drink it in. Phased/phlanged vocals add to the eerie mystique of this hidden gem, and my only complaint about this diamond in the rough is that it seems to be the first, last, and only real Children of Mäani release. Perhaps Vindsval will return to this act someday, but until then, The Veil of Osiris will remain in a class by itself as one of black metal's most creative releases of all time.

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)

Technical Black Metal? - 89%

Sadness_for_Life, January 6th, 2006

When Vindsvall decided to take a break from Blut Aus Nord, everyone knew his solo debut was going to be amazing. And amazing it is. From beginning to end you cannot help but think that this is what black metal is supposed to sound like. Tracks like "In the Middle of the Macrocosm" while definetly trv3 kvlt also manage to show a surprising amount of technicality. The guitar solos show off Vindsvall's obvious knowledge of music, and everything is laden with an almost oriental sound.

Though some may hesitate to call this black metal, being it came out after the supposed "fall" of black metal. I don't think anyone who listens to this can hesitate, this album is amazing. The only thing I really didn't enjoy were Vind's vocals, they seem to be the same throughout the whole album, only occasionally mixing it up with some deep growls.

If it were possible to classify this in a genre I would have to go with Technical Black Metal, the riffs are awesome, show enough variety and the keyboard is very well integrated. All in all, if you can find this album definetly purchase it, though, that may be hard, seeing as how rare it is.