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Mutiilation - Vampires of Black Imperial Blood - 90%

mentalselfmutilation, April 27th, 2008

This album is depressive black metal at its finest! Mutiilation is the notorious brainchild of Mey'nach from the well known Black Legions circle of France's black metal scene. Unlike many other Black Legions recordings the production of this album is significantly clearer, especially when compared to the earlier demos by this band, but the remaining rawness of it adds a perfect balance to the depressive atmosphere it gives off when you listen to it. What Xasthur would later become, and what early Burzum lacked Mutiilation draws out in full force with this album!

There's a lot of very dark inverted riffs played through out. From the first notes played across the intro of "Magical Shadows of a Tragic Past" to the dark tremolo riffing of songs like "Black Imperial Blood" Mutiilation has outdone itself from previous recordings and brought together something that is truly brilliant. During this time even the likes of Norway weren't coming out with something so depressive, so dark, so evil, and so melancholic. This album defines all what it meant to be black metal at this time and done so respectively without trying to add grimness or rawness for the sake of being either or. The poor production is there to compliment the recording, and even then is far from as poor as you'd expect with black metals standards, possibly one of the better produced early mid 90s albums you'll find.

This is definitely a classic album and must have for anyone who's remotely into black metal at all. It's one of the best recordings if not the best one from this band. Everything you'd want from a black metal record is on here, so if you somehow come across this rare classic don't even think, just grab you, you won't regret it at all. Definitely one of the best black metal recordings ever put together, and during its time the epitome of all black metal. Worth any possible listen you can give to it. It's sure not to disappoint!