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My favorite release of the year. Sratched the itch - 97%

MrMetalpants, January 1st, 2018

I've been waiting for this album all year. Finally squeezed it in at the end to my my disdain that I had not earlier. The Wolves in the Throne Room release almost met what I was dying for in black metal, but this really hit the spot.

First off, the songs are written perfectly. I was trying to describe to my buddy what they were like and I said "It's like if Fenriz (Dark Throne) wrote songs for Wolves in the Throne Room to perform with Frost (Satyricon) on drums". It's heavily melodic and sometimes ambient but has riffage to go along. It's for sure influenced more by classic black metal than a lot of what's been written nowadays. That somehow feels very fresh to me. There is a clean singing (somewhat operatic) on track one which is the perfect amount of clean singing for me. The songs all progress in the best way, switching gears and heading somewhere different before you ever get fatigued by any given section. When I say switch gears, I mean it.

The drums are what initially stood out to me due to their unique parts like in "Neubeginn" or "Aufbruch". The right hand on the ride is great and switches up tempo often in some songs. My favorite drums on a black metal release (besides Frost's performance on Satyricons release). The vocals are pretty high and sustained. Not much breaking new ground but like I said, the lyrics are where it's at. There isn't much technically impressive with guitars but still fun. It's so well mixed I have to actually point it out and give kudos to the clarity both on the high treble parts and the deeper bass sections. It never feels muddy or too crisp (for the genre). I'm very excited for what they have coming next.

Favorite tracks:
--Aufbruch
--Neubeginn
--Skepsis pt 1

Technical Skill: 86% Originality: 82% Song writing: 96% Album structure: 95% Production: 93%