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Excellent Raw Fenno-Black Metal Collab - 90%

Uk0nVasara, February 25th, 2020

One of Finland's most popular exports - in underground music scene at least - is the raw black metal genre. While there has been many bands since the 90s most of them have never reached more than a cult band status. However, here we have a collaboration album of two of the best known bands of the scene, Satanic Warmaster and Clandestine Blaze. These bands are not only popular in the underground, they are also well known names even among more mainstream metal listeners. Though among the mainstream they are best known for their controversial political opinions rather than for their music.

The first four tracks and the last one are the collaboration tracks, while the Guided by Black Light is a Clandestine Blaze track and the To the Legions is a Satanic Warmaster track. The whole album is raw and intense black metal with no compromises, as you would expect from these bands. Pretty tight package that only has one weaker track, that being the Sacrificial Fires. The slow, almost doom metally track simply feels too uneventful and kind of drags the pacing of the album. The absolute high-point is the Satanic Warmaster solo track To the Legions with its brilliant guitar solo.

The album is played tightly and while you can hear some minor playing mistakes across the albums runtime it just adds to the raw atmosphere perfectly. It wouldn't be much of a raw black metal album if it was produced to the point of being sterile, would it? Despite its lo-fi production the band has managed to make music that's not only raw but also memorable with catchy riffs and melodies. The vocalist spot is shared by the frontmen of both bands, Werwolf of SW and Mikko Aspa of CB. Werwolf is your typical black metal vocalist with high-pitched shrieked vocals and he also mixes some hardcore punk style shouts and screams into the mix. Aspa has his signature low-pitched gnarly growls most people are familiar with from Deathspell Omega albums.

This is highly recommended album not only for the fans of the bands but for black metal people in general. While the material presented here isn't the best either of these bands offer it still worth checking out. The fact that this entire album was recorded on a 4-track recorder is the true testament of these guys songwriting skills. The fact that they can pull off this good black metal with these limitations is worth the celebration alone.