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This is hatred - 82%

Symphony_Of_Terror, December 3rd, 2004

This is the recording of the final Judas Iscariot live performance, it features Lord Imperial of Krieg, as well as members of Maniac Butcher and the infamous Kanwulf. Akhenaten has produced some quality albums throughout the years all by himself, so its interesting to see how Judas Iscariot plays with other musicians. Will it sound just like the Judas Iscariot albums? Will we see some influences of Krieg, Nagaroth and Maniac Butcher? One thing for sure is that Under The Black Sun delivers pure hate filled black metal that is absolutely devastating.

On Judas Iscariot album’s (pre Heaven In Flames) the overall speed of the songs was rather slow, creating an atmosphere of doom and devastation that would beat you down. Although Akhenaten’s lyrics have always been about hatred and intolerance towards Christians, on the Judas Iscariot albums the hatred seemed to have been lost in the overall sound of the instruments. Its hard to have hate come through black metal when its slower paced and focuses more on atmosphere than speed and brutality. Fortunately Under The Black Sun has captured the intensity and hatred of Akhenaten in its pure form. On Babylon In Ruin Akhenaten’s vocals are more harsh and emotional than on the studio albums. He sings as if his lyrics and vocals are currently destroying Christian scum. There is real passion and intensity in his vocals, something which was never captured in his studio albums. This is the biggest plus to listen to Under The Black Sun since the recording is kind of washed out and fuzzy.

Other Highlights of Under The Black Sun is seeing how the members of Maniac Butcher and Krieg made the music more aggressive and intense. Overall the music on this live album is faster and much more raw than the Judas Iscariot studio albums. Its also interesting and entertaining to see what Akhenaten has to say between tracks. My personal favorite quote is “Black Metal is about hatred and Intolerance....NO FUCKING COMPROMISES!”. These little intermission speech’s add to the overall hatred of the album. The only negative of this album, which couldn’t be helped at all really, is the instruments seem kind of sloppy and washed out. This would work perfectly for a band like Krieg for they try to make their music very raw and almost like heavy noise at time. But for Judas Iscariot the music is always well composed, so the better the production the better sound. Obviously if you like Judas Iscariot you will want to listen to this album, but listen to if for its hatred, not its musicianship.