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I know what I hate. And I don't hate this. - 43%

UltraBoris, March 22nd, 2003

I really thought I was going to totally fucking hate this one. Really, I was coming up with all sorts of brilliant new conjugations of the word "excrete", but alas they will have to wait, as this album is really not as bad as it could have been. Dimmu Borgir, this is not. I mean, yes it's silly as all fuck, and there are some really insipid moments of stupid shrieking, geigh keyboards, bad drumming, etc etc... but the album is also filled with really cool riffs! Who the fuck saw that one coming?

For example in the opener, around 0.58, damn that is some quality stuff. It's the crap that abounds at around 1.16 that makes the album so abominable. Loud keyboards, banal shriek, tickticktick drumming. If they could excise those crap sections of crap and throw in the solid sections - like the one at 1.44 for example - it would not be nearly as bad.

Oh yeah - whispering section is BAD. But when the guitars kick in at around 3.15, it gets more decent. I could do without the wailing "ooh!" once ever 3 seconds, and the random string section at 4.38 too... the album really does suffer from "guys, too many random ideas" syndrome. That seems to be the trend in modern metal nowadays... lots of sucky ideas alternated with a few good ones. But when the good ones come in...

Oh there are more songs on this happy dude, aren't there? Hurt and Virtue mixes in really loud, really faggothic keyboards, with some decent riffs. Somewhere buried in here is a Helloween album. Seriously. And how can you not love the fuck out of that riff at 0.38? The songwriting is exciting as fuck, you cannot deny them that. Decent speed metal riffage occurs again at 2.58 again with some great guitar melodies too.

An Enemy led the Tempest... sounds at the beginning like the CD is skipping (well, it's an mp3, same difference - but hey that riff is pretty heavy). Then we get the keyboards and Dani, the man of a thousand homoerotic voices, but that riff at 0.47!

Damned in Any Language! Yay, a song that I can despise! It's just a silly orchestral interlude, and Virgin Steele this is not. Enough wailing, if you want the choir of the damned, go listen to Pleasure to Kill!

Serpent Tongue ... I'm not too keen on the tickticktick fairycore section at 3.17, but the outro riff section just works. There's just so much going on in these songs... lots of keyboard layers, Dani going all wild, and hey, the guitars. This is some really exciting, interesting music here. It doesn't always work, but at least it keeps my attention.

Carrion - ooh, a Kreator cover! Here come the monster riffs right from the beginning! Well no, it's not a Kreator cover, but the riffs certainly are there at the beginning. The song fades as it goes on, before coming back to life around 4.08.

Present from the Poison-hearted is excellent, going wild with speed metal riffs from the get-go. 0.33 in, prepare to bang. If anyone claims that this band is not metal... I'm sorry, but fuck you. They're certainly not black metal, but they are definitely a metal band. There's some sections where the guitars drop out and we veer dangerously into Dark Tranquillity territory, but when it comes back, oh man it comes back and rips your fucking face off.

Doberman has a weird little intro before it goes into the frenetic, hyperfast section. Oddly enough, this isn't nearly as incoherent as many previous Cradle of Filth albums - this has solid power metal written all over it. Not a great song, but not bad. In fact, about here is where the album starts to drag a little. It is 17 songs, after all... Babylon AD has some decent riffs in it too, and then that little Pantera section around 2.52 in.

A Scarlet Witch performed the Interlude. Yep - there's a few of those in here too... there's only 12 real songs and 5 of these little symponic passages. They don't really do much for me.

Mannequin - this one definitely suffers from having too many ideas thrown in - the vocal effect at 3.42 is horrible, and some of the riffs aren't emphasised enough and the middle section is completely forgettable. Thank God for the Suffering is more of the same - the album just doesn't work well for so many songs, and that is its greatest problem.

But we do close on a strong note with The Smoke of her Burning. At 1.23 this just goes into a fucking thrash nightmare. This section is the highlight of the album right here. The song then gradually diminishes in intensity, leading into the outro piece. Kinda average from then on, but man that thrash riff is pwnage!

Dang it... and I had really been hoping to compare something on here to a coprophagic weasel, and I had this brilliant word made up that combined the best features of "monkey" and "testicle" into a new three-syllable construction that would've made Shakespeare proud. Alas, not this time.

Hey I heard Opeth haven't broken up yet. Gotta save up the good ideas for when their new one comes out! Because THIS album is not complete goblin swill, this actually has its moments.