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Excellent. - 90%

jerrit, May 18th, 2008

I'm somewhat surprised that no one has already written a review for this already. I have yet to find a copy, but it's floating around on the internet. I downloaded this album out of curiosity sometime in 2005, never having heard of Mordaehoth. And it's a good thing that I did. If you like (or ever did like) black metal or pagan themes, do yourself a favor and get this.

From the cover art to the last note, this album delivers atmosphere. The songs themselves are long and varied to the point where no one is especially memorable, but every song has its moments and they add up. There are furious moments that make me want to bang my head and shout along, parts that give me chills even now after years of listening, and catchy, cool riffs like in the beginning of "Wodans Zonen" and "Walburgas Nacht" that put an evil grin on my face. There are solos, all technically simple but definitely cool and befitting the music. You'll know them when you hear them. This music is fun to listen to, in a black metal sense.

The musicianship and production aren't perfect, but the finished product strikes me as exactly what this kind of music should sound like. There are fast parts with blast beats, mid-paced parts with more varied drumming, and creepy slow parts that are much more than just filler. The guitar work is simple but highly effective. The bass is not only audible but prominent, and very enjoyable. It took me a long time to even notice the keyboard/synth, so needless to say it's minimal and unusually tasteful for black metal. Drumming is good. It's a one (two in the studio?) man band and I can't say for certain that he doesn't use a drum machine. If he does, it's some of the best programming I've ever heard, as it sounds very "organic" and has the lovable timing imperfections that usually suggest a human drummer.

The lyrics are in a mix of English and what I assume is Dutch. It's mostly sung in the usual black metal rasp, which is done very well and angrily here. There are also clean sections, most notably in the last song, and chanting to close the second song.

The cover art is superb. A lone warrior gazing over a burning village, longships in the background. It looks like an engraving, or at least like it was meant to look like an engraving, giving it that dark age feel.

Overall, this reminds me of the best moments of black/pagan metal. Even if you're still skeptical after reading this, try to find it. It's worth repeated listening.