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The Hidden Masterpiece - 97%

thewaytonever, October 9th, 2010

When I was 14 I was given this album by a German foreign exchange student on first listen I considered it to be just a load of noise as all other music she had given me. I was a young American who had not yet learned to appreciate non-mainstream well produced MTV loved "metal". A few years later i popped this album in to reminisce the old high school days and what came out of my radio surprised me. My ear was trained on picking up the murkyness of the likes of Darkthorne and other early black metal. Though this album is in no way as murky in its production quality as they early black metal albums were it still had an overload of sound that needed to be listened to in each individual instruments sector.

From the opening track "Reptile" to the final track "Masses for the New Messiah" I was in a trance completely captured by the music. Everything seemed to merge together in a perfect synergy. It seemed to me that the synth, guitars, bass, grim and clean vocals, and the drumming all were carefully place and written to give each song its own character and allure. 10 years later I can still put this album in and listen to it from start to finish.

What stood out to me the most was the melodies and how they intertwined with the more punishing speed of each song. A mark of good song writing for me has always been smooth and good sounding transitions and this album is loaded with them. There isn't one song on Spiritual Black Dimensions that is either sheer speed or melody instead its an ingenious balance of the two.

There also seems to be a sinister almost lurking feeling to the atmosphere made by the synth throughout the album. The use of organs, piano, and mixtures of multiple settings are used excellently by Mustis who was a superior replacement for Stain at least for one album.

Finally, the solos on this album complement each song seemingly perfectly to me. No noisy crappily added mindless shredding just smooth well placed melodic measured added as another layer on a seemingly perfect work of musicianship and songwriting. It's not the most technical nor the heaviest its just very well put together album that in my opinion is a gem of symphonic metal.