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The monuments crumble but never fall... - 85%

ultraviolet, June 1st, 2011

How can one rate emotions? CLANDESTINE BLAZE, the personal vehicle of THE blackmetal voice of the 00s, return after a four-year recording absence to pay tribute to those who stand up and through the passing of time, despite the wounds it causes. Such were (and some of them still are) the (anti-)heroes of the early Norwegian scene, whose teachings are reverently followed by Mikko Aspa.

Using the raw, cacophonous sound of old DARKTHRONE and their fellow travelers no fifteen years ago as it’s axis, “Falling Monuments” begins its journey with the aggressive mood of “Unfolding Madness” to settle mostly in mid-tempo shelters where the riffs sound threatening and guitar leads full of bitter melody. Scattered melancholy mixed with emotional uplift are present within the eight tracks of this album, giving it the consistency that was partly missing from its predecessor. Listen, for argument’s sake, how the definition of epic blackmetal in “Call Of The Warrior” transforms into the nostalgic tone of “Melancholy Of The Falling Monuments”. Listen to “Bloodsoil” with the furious beginning, ready to go to battle before it calms down in the end, handing the baton to the small but miraculous “Horizon Of Ego Annihilation”. Listen to Mikko Aspa, the Preacher of DEATHSPELL OMEGA, to interpret the above with his all-personal, grumpy voice and distinctive accent. How many artists, indeed, have achieved such recognition during the last decade?

CLANDESTINE BLAZE are not here to start any revolutions nor to open new roads. These deeds are done by other, more appropriate disciples of this genre. “Falling Monuments” is here for those who are delivered with no fear to the vortex of massive, traditional blackmetal. Music that respects its origins yet maintains its own individuality and, above all, comes to us full of emotion. You could never rate feelings, could you?

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