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Original, yet underdeveloped - 72%

CannibalCorpse, May 11th, 2006

Magus Wampyr Daoloth. A well known name in the Greek scene and mostly, for a reason. He's been around as a musician and producer for more than 15 years. Necromantia(being his main band) has reached quite a reputation over the years and it surely is justified.

This was the first Necromantia album I heard and one of the first things that got caught in my ear was it's originality: 8 string bass + 4 string bass? No guitar? It sounds like it wouldn't work, but it does indeed work fairly well. The 8 string is pretty similar to a guitar, but it's tone is a lot grittier and the higher strings have a really weird sound to them, reminding me of a massively downtuned Sitar, which is strangely very appealing.

The songs themselves are mostly very long, spiced up with dark ambient pads and weird "acoustic" passages. (The 8-string bass playing acoustic chords in a guitar-like manner).

Drumming is solid and keeps the pace very well without being exceptionally technical or innovative. The mixing is pretty rough, but I doubt you'd be here reading this if you were looking for a crystal clear, polished production.

The album (keep in mind that this is Necromantia's debut) is not flawless, though. It's greatest flaws are apparent in the songwriting. Necromantia try to keep their long songs(The Warlock clocking in at over 13 minutes) varied, but often fail in that department. It's not the lack of arrangements needed, it's the lack of MEMORABLE ones. Fortunately, Magus seemed to realize that and his future works do succeed a lot better in this part.

In conclusion "Crossing the Fiery Path" is a very interesting and original record, with many underdeveloped, yet promising ideas.