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The best split-release...ever - 100%

Swietowit666, July 12th, 2005

Let me begin with a message to those who skim reviews on here, as I sometimes do: THIS ALBUM IS ESSENTIAL! To attest to this, I bought this when it came out on vinyl (Grievantee Prod./Ltd. 500) and later on CD (Autistiartili/Ltd. 1000)

Upon viewing the names of the bands included on it, one should come to this conclusion immediately anyway. Both are incredible, legendary forces in the Finnish Black Metal scene that put out nothing but top-notch, satisfying Black Metal.

Horna presents what is arguably their best material on this split, played with a complexity and emotion that was absent on the later-released full-length "Envaatnags...". This is partly due to the more rawer, yet more coherent production (I know this sounds contradictory, but listen to both releases and you will see what I mean). They blast forth with no holds barred and no intro bullshit, bringing forth only raw, yet emotional and somewhat technical Black Metal. This was the first Horna release that I purchased with Corvus on vocals, and his performance is astounding. His painful howls in the middle of the first track will haunt the listener infinitely. Horna's material on this split inspired me to track down all of their post-Sudentaival releases, which I have done and all are recommended.

To describe Behexen's contribution in one word: monumental.
While not as memorable as Horna's, it stands out as a paragon of well-executed Black Metal. As it was recorded before "By the Blessing of Satan", it does not have the aggressiveness or speed of that album, but is rather slow, brooding, and meaningful. The material here actually sounds like the last three tracks on Sargeist's "Satanic Black Devotion" than other Behexen stuff. The three tracks presented here are all powerful, with the progressions unwinding more slowly than those of Horna, giving the listener more time to let the atmosphere of the songs take hold. This part of the split is a great complement to Horna's more biting, speedy tracks and also hold's its own as great Behexen material.

A mandatory release worth anything you pay for it. Autistiartili may not be sold out of the CD version, so act quickly if you want this masterpiece.