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Beautifully done and horribly underrated - 97%

The_Ghoul, July 13th, 2012

If I had my way, Kvist would always be the first band mentioned when talking about melodic black metal. Everything about this lonesome album is wonderfully done, and there are many layers of subtlety that most bands can't touch. Every instrument has its own niche, and no instrument (not even the bass) simply follows another instrument. I personally can't understand why more people don't love this. This is one of those black metal albums where I have to struggle to find anything wrong with it. The songs are cyclical but never verse-chorus-verse, and the whole album is very progressive in nature. Riffs are repeated, but not very often, and when they are, the riffs that are repeated are so good they bear repeating.

I must say that the guitars and keyboards are amazing here. They work beautifully together, and neither really overpowers another -- in fact, in key moments, the keyboards, guitars, and bass all do different things. When they work together, it's amazing. The chords on this album -- oh god, I can't describe how awesome these chords are. In parts, they go beyond simple barre "power" chords, and into chords most 2nd year music theory students cannot touch. They are all used very well; "subtle" and "classy" is how I'd describe this. The organ in Min Lekam Er Meg Blotte En Byrde, for instance, makes the song so epic, and the chords to go along with them are amazingly well done. I honestly can't say enough about the chords. Kvist aren't afraid to use major chords, either. One thing a lot of bands forget is that a few well placed major chords make your minor chords sound that much more haunting and minor. Buildup and intensity are key, and Kvist have both. Simply put, this is a compositional masterpiece.

Also, no band member steals the spotlight here. All instruments are presented with balance, and that balance carries this album. The bass has its moments of importance, the guitars shine but don't show off and aren't dominating the mix. The vocals do their job, and the vocalist sounds a bit like Shagrath did on the original Stormblaast (not the new one, I'm talking about ye olde one), and his voice doesn't offend the ears in any way. The vocals are irrelevant, mostly, due to the excellence of the composition, but, hey, sometimes you gotta give points for simply not fucking up this gem of an album. The drums are similar -- they do their job, say on beat, blastbeat when it's necessary, slow down when it's necessary, and add to the music without dominating it or fucking it up.

I'd recommend this to any black metal fan. It's a shame this was never more well known, and it's a shame Kvist didn't make any more albums. Still, listen to this. It's essential.