Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2021
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Overrated for sure - 40%

SpectralSorrow91, May 12th, 2021

After hearing people praising this album year after year I find it necessary to point out a few cons with this release. I get what they where aiming for: 100% Black metal, nothing less, nothing more. Fair enough, but to purposly lower your creative and technical skills to sound like something Bathory did way better in the mid 80s in 1992 is to me a recipe for failure. Because that's what they are doing here. They took out all the technicalities of "A blaze..." and went on protest against "contemporary metal" which their second album still had some vibes from. The difference is that with "A blaze..." they actually managed to create something new to the table, it was an unexpected and fast turn to the blacker side of music and they showed every inch of confidence while doing it. Here on the other hand, everything except the guitar sound is stripped down.

Nocturno Culto's vocals sound held back, as if he doesn't want to use all the air in his lungs. Sure, they sound creepy, but evil? Nah. I'll give them credit for songs such as "Natassja in Eternal Sleep" since the guitar do sound evil there as well as "Summer of the Diabolical Holocaust" which has a lot of strength in it and some variation in the songwriting. People usually talk about the "coldness" of this album, and sure; it ain't sunshine to put it mildly. But the guitar is without punch and is feeble sounding. The bass though has a lot of fuzz which is one of the few things I appreciate here. This for me is actually a step away from both its predecessor and successor. Everything just comes off really stale here and the songwriting is actually really uninspired, repetetive and monotonous. Some would say it's the point of black metal; I disagree to a certain extent.

As for the drums; Fenriz stripped down the drum-kit and only used the floor tom I have read to "make it sound huge". Well, agree to disagree again. Don't get me wrong, Fenriz is an excellent drummer and I enjoy his playing here but the minimalism that shrouds this album just makes it weak in my opinion. Talented guys who purposely go lesser than they should in order to prove something is never a good idea to me.

But the weak link is actually Zephyrous, who is the only guitarist on this album since Nocturno plays bass here. There's nothing wrong with his technical skills, but the songs he has written (Unholy Black Metal and Inn i de Dype Skogers Favn) must be some of the most boring tracks I've heard in black metal. The verse riff is actually just the same riff as the opening of the title track, only here he starts off with a power chord on the 7th fret instead of an open E chord (The latter sounds much cooler) and they only consists of two riffs anyway who are nothing special at all, just sounds like filler to me.

The ending of the album is actually pretty good, one of the better tracks. It has this feeling of momentum and finally builds up to a crescendo to where it slows down with an open minor chord keeping a slow pace while it fades out to the sound of a bell. So all in all: I don't mean the album completely sucks, but it is a mediocre album that happened to be released in 1993; the year Norwegian Black Metal reached its pinnacle. Had this been released later in the 90s or the 2000s for that matter, I think people wouldn't have taken it serious.