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Black Metal at it's finest - 92%

BorknagarCOB, May 16th, 2005

I haven't previously heard Countess before this album. Therefore this band completely threw me a curveball, and I didn't know what to expect. I just first off want to say that this CD clocks in at 66+ minutes of pure melodic black metal.

I don't know if I could really classify this as just a style of black metal. This CD produces and mixes together a series of great power metal riffs with some songs featuring some minature power metal riff style solos. The drumming lays for a good background beat and leg for the rest of the music. There are also a tad bit of keys through the songs. Orlok displays some amazing musicianship throughout the course of this long album. This album is like the traditional black metal recording, where the instruments drown out other key elements, or where the quality is just down to its raw roots. This CD balances everything well. The vocals are in a style of very brutal, harsh vocals. The vocals remind me of Dub Buk, which isn't a bad thing, but not something I really expected, they're still great nonetheless. The vocals were just something you couldn't pitcher with the melodic tone of this album. The lyrical work is just phenomenal, with some really epic titles like "Trumpets of Dawn", and "Sword and Sceptre". This is one black metal album I didn't expect to come across. From eerie guitar solos to hyperfast power guitar riffs. The 12th track "March of the Ten Thousand"(the one that clocks in at 11+ minutes) has one of the best black metal intros i've ever come across.

With a long story short, this album is catchy for being a black metal album. Not to mention it is down right insane irons.gif. The only thing I could have changed to make this album any better was possibly change the harsh vocals to a more grim style of vocals that are experimented in the likes of Finntroll or Equilibrium. To own's taste I suppose though. If the vocals couldn't have been changed I would of liked to have seen some transition with some grim/deep vocals to the basic harsh vocals used on this albums production.