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Menacing misanthropy, diabolical pleasures - 80%

autothrall, October 29th, 2009

Sweden's most primal and evil black metal band returns for its third album of menacing misanthropy, and with the exception of some of their earlier EPs, it's their best material to date.

Rest in Morbid Darkness is very true to its blackened thrashing roots, you will hear a lot of Celtic Frost and Bathory used to the ultimate advantage. "Possessed by the Beast" is a rager, I particularly enjoy the post-chorus where the melodic speed metal leads break out. "Nights in the Cursed Chapel" is a creepier track which really evokes a nostalgic feeling few bands are capable of (Mortuary Drape, Sabbat and Negative Plane are a few who come to mind). "Blessed by Hellfire" is moored in excellent distorted bass, driving beats and simple yet effective melodies. True proto black metal indeed. "Bestial Crucifixion" is my favorite here, a melodic and kickass anthem to Satan. "Vomit Up the Blood of Jesus" and "Shadows of the Dead" also rock.

The real beauty of this album is it belongs in another time and place. Sure it's 2008, but the tone and songwriting places it back in 1990, when black metal was just taking shape from its influences like Celtic Frost, Mercyful Fate, Bathory, Kreator, etc. There is no bullshit here. No fairy metal vocals, no symphonic elements, no trends. Even the production reflects this, it just sounds old. A truly cult record from a band who has always kept it real, and a diabolic pleasure to listen to.