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Masterpiece After Masterpiece - 93%

ict1523, May 14th, 2006

Rob Darken continues to amaze me with his consistent and excellent black/pagan metal albums. It also amazes me at the speed he produces them at, he's averaging almost 1 album per year, which is great for those of us that want more and more.

While this album does progress a little bit from the others, and is a little bit faster, it still is similar to his previous works, which is not a bad thing, because it still sounds great.

The album as a whole does have some boring moments especially in songs such as "Flaming Wrathful Hate" and in "Dance of Axes and Swords", however the greatness of 90% of this album makes up for that. The best songs would definitely have to be "River of Tears". This one comes close to actually bringing tears to my eyes because of how sad and just plain awesome the shrieks at the beginning are. And then the very atmospheric melody. It also is very awesome. The real riffs kick in at 1:22 and those are also pretty damn awesome. They are pretty fast and angry, but the quiet melodies in the background bring sadness to the mood also. And the vocals begin around 1:53, and those even though they are relatively quiet in the blend of instruments bring more evil to the sound. "Fire Chariot of Destruction" is also a great song and begins with some pretty fast riffs as well as great drums in the background. The riffs change at around 0:41 as the vocals come in, and those change the sound from somewhat happier to just downright angry. "Motherland" also is up there with those grim but some of the best black metal riffs at 3:10 and at 6:06...they are just awesome and bring shivers down my spine.

Another odd and rather funny quality of this album is Rob Darken's vocals. If you listen closely for example in the song "River of Tears", he pronounces many of the words exactly like they would be pronounced in Polish such as arrived, killed, and a few more in the first 3 verses. For those of you out there that are Polish, you may find Darken's pronounciations quite amusing.