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A masterpiece? Very, very close... - 98%

chaossphere, August 16th, 2003

Ever wondered how Immortal covering Viking-era Bathory would sound? Well, Hades (yes, Hades, this album was released before that piss-poor "other" Hades decided to make a comeback) provides a fairly good answer with The Dawn Of The Dying Sun. This is quite simply one of the most epic, atmospheric, complete albums i've ever heard. The music rumbles along at a leisurely pace, never picking up above a majestic canter, but of course, these guys don't need speed to impress. Instead, they crush you with loping, striding folk-laden riffs, flawless bass playing that weaves in and out of the music, pounding drums and half-buried tormented vocal screams.

The opening title track is quite short, and acts more as an intro to the majestic "Awakening of Kings", which is something of a tour-de-force. The third track then introduces more of a measured, ambient feeling complete with eerie synth infusions, before the epic reworking of "Alone Walkyng" (originally the title track of the demo tape) crushes all in it's path. This 10:28 alone is worth the purchase price of the CD. The next few songs are more of the same - this isn't really an album where any particular songs stand out, it's more of a constant wave of atmospheric brillance. The sole letup is track 7, "The Red Sun Mocks My Sadness", which is a brief, melancholic flute instrumental, which provides a momentary passage of calm before the final onslaught of "Pagan Prayer" finishes the job of crushing the listener into rubble... the song just keeps getting heavier and heavier, seemingly threatening to crush your ribcage, before suddenly erupting into a flourish of fiddles and violins, which sear through a few bars before peaking and.... end.

Perfect album? I don't think there's any such thing, to be honest... but this is very, VERY close.