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Technical Black Metal - 91%

fear_the_riffer, January 29th, 2005

Hell yeah! This is what I call Black Fucking Metal! Technical riffs, eerie vocals, clever songwriting, brutal drumming, and cold atmosphere.

Let me start by saying that I'm still getting into Black metal and I have stumbled across some really lame stuff and some really ass-kicking metal! This falls in the second category with good reasons.

First, the production is typical black metal production: bass is non-existant, drums dominate the mix. The guitars cut through the mix just right, all the riffs can be heard and the clean guitar tone is very atmospheric.

The members are in top form. Demonaz executes some precise, catchy riffs and even plays a few leads on the last few tracks. The riffs are fast and technical, while the clean parts are very chorused, thus giving a chilling atmosphere. I'm not sure who plays drums here, but anyway, the drumming is mostly snare-bashing but fits the music. Abbath puts some emotion in his wicked snarls and gives a %100 performance on every song.

The first half of the album is in my opinion the better half. It kicks off with Withstand The Fall Of Time, which is my personal favorite BM song. The lyrics are kinda weird and silly but Abbath "sings" with emotion especially during the chorus (hardening claws....). Oh and the riffs! THE RIFFS! This song has like 20 riff changes and every riff is more brutal than the previous! Ah... this song alone is worth the price!

Solarfall is just as scull-crushing, with its haunting clean interlude followed by a DEVASTATINGLY heavy riff that tears down the entire wall of sound! Abbath also lets out some crazy shrieks on this track.

Those two songs are the definite highlights of the album. The rest is just as brutal but the last two tracks are not as consistent and are a little overlong. Watch out for those leads on At The Heart Of Winter!

All in all, this is one hell of an album, not exactly a kvlt favorite, but still damn good. This album is also a grower, the first few listens might not be very satisfying but I assure you that once it grows on you, it possesses you!!!