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Memory, Destiny, and Culmination - 97%

arrowhead, February 24th, 2013

Out of his discography, I am very glad Rob Darken decided to re-record this particular album over his others.

The production on everything naturally complements each and every individual instrument. The interaction between each instrument is perfect. The mixing is very well done and, at least with proper headphones, every instrument and nuance can be heard clearly. The production is very good, but not so perfect that it is sterile and inorganic. The contrary is true. The sound here is very organic, yet clear. The balance found here is something Rob Darken had not achieved until this particular recording. He came close with Will Stronger Than Death in 2007, though.

All five songs are amazing. The album opens with an unassuming intro with a horn, percussion, violin, and waves crashing onto the shore, which soon evolves into a very powerful song, powerful for Graveland, that is, which is saying something because there are many "powerful"-sounding Graveland songs. The highlight for me is "Legion Gigantów". The whole song is amazing, but the intro of this song is just sublime. The most "epic- sounding" song on here is definitely "Runy Przebudzenia". The production complements the actual songs and makes them better overall.

Besides the actual songs, the highlights of this album are the drumming, violin, and vocals. The guitars are done well enough, but the others seem to stand out more to me, especially the drumming. I'm not entirely sure if the drums are real or not, but it doesn't matter because they sound real anyway. Although his vocals are slightly higher in the mix compared to other albums, they do not overpower at all.

One more note about the guitars. On the original recording of "Los Wojownika" in the 1:00 to 2:00 range, the guitar plays the lead melody. In the newer rendition of this song that melody is not played by the guitar.

This album truly is a culmination of every Graveland album and possibly the last two Lord Wind albums. It seems like that was what he was aiming for here and, in my mind, he did just that. I don't like everything he has recorded, but this is definitely near the top, if not at THE top. Besides slightly better guitar playing (as can be found on the original recording), the only thing I would change would be the length. Forty-eight minutes and one second is too short for such a beautiful collection of music.