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Great album with surprising elements - 96%

hailmarduk666, April 21st, 2008

I recently got into Deathspell Omega, and I really enjoyed their last couple releases, although they were very difficult to get my hands on, mainly because there aren't a lot of record shops that carry that kind of metal. It's mostly the mall-core, or poppy metal that they would play on the radio, i.e. KsE, and As I Lay Dying. Thus I had to order their material. I found out through the archives that Mikko the singer had a side project, Clandestine Blaze and I wanted to see what it sounded like because it was said to be pretty good. Unfortunately, I found it extremely difficult to find a place that a) had it available for order, and b) actually had it in stock.

Through various websites and links, I FINALLY found one that had their material, and in stock amazingly. So, when this album showed up in my mailbox, I was absolutely stoked! I had an hour drive that I was going on that day, so I put it in, and here is what I heard:

Excellent bm, mid-paced, and quite well produced, though not the uber-produced sound of DsO, and that band's counterparts. Overall though, it is much better produced than, say, Transylvanian Hunger, and has similar sounds much of the time. There are 2 songs to mention on their own because they have a sound all to themselves, and are a nice break from the typical bm sound and make the album quite diverse and break up the pace well. Overall I think this album is great, and I am very glad that I found someone who carried it. Mainly because I like DsO, and I wanted to hear their more orthodox style, instead of their avant-garde-ish recent releases of Fas-, and Si Monumentum. I was very pleasantly surprised at the mix of bm styles, and amazingly good riff progressions. There are 2 songs that are worthy of mention by themselves, and the other tracks are just typical good bm.

2) Ashes of the Eternal Wanderer: This epic and funereal meandering piece is a behemoth at over 11 minutes and has a nice, slow melodic riff. This track starts out really slow and doomy, and is very different from the first track. Over 2 minutes of intro, where it breaks into some double bass, and vocals keeping to the same tempo. There are also some drum fills, and cymbal variety in addition to the double bass. Another minute, and the verse is over, coming back into the opening riff. At about the 6 minute point, you hear in the background an ethereal fire, and breaks into a doom riff, that reminded me of the end of Call of Kthulu by Metallica, long and drawn out with distorted guitar feedback in the background with the fire, and some nice bass progression in the higher spectrum of the instrument. All in all, they portrayed the Wanderer well, by this wandering, and pace-changing monstrosity.

3) Storm of Purification: Starts out like more recent releases of Darkthrone with a punkish start and a nice "oooouuuh" at the beginning. That is where the similarity ends though where it breaks into a more death metal-ish breakdown, and reminded me a lot of Soulside Journey. A complete 180 from the track before it, and picks up the spirits of those who were laid low with the melancholy of the "Eternal Wanderer".

All in all, this album rocks. I found my head banging away throughout the entire album, and was totally worth waiting for it to come in the mail. It was in the vein of Darkthrone's 2-4th releases, but with more variety, better production, and better riffs. Despite the naysayers who steer clear of DsO, the vocals are the only link between that band and this, and if you don't like DsO's progression, this band may better suit your musical palette.