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eh...maybe it does & maybe it doesn't! - 80%

grimdoom, March 27th, 2009

There is something profound about a scenic landscape. Be it a grand mountain, an ancient battle field, or a deep and seemingly bottomless valley. What makes it profound however, is the circumstance by which you come across it. Black Metalists would have you believe that only their style of Heavy Metal belongs in the forests and the dark recesses of nature where mankind hasn't held sway for centuries, but this album, like countless others provides a dissenting opinion to their arrogant claim. In no short order this album takes you to a time that history forgot. In this time you are surround by epic sights and sounds that cause you to ponder much. In these thoughts you have found the profound.

If you are a devout follower of Doom-metal.com you'd probably believe that this is either the best Doomdeath album ever, or at the very least, in the top three. Like countless bands before them they take the music to original heights and never look back. This is a very different Doom album indeed.

The production is pretty good over all. The guitars are a little weak sounding but its hard to say if its the production or their choice of preamps. The guitars are incredibly melodic (sounding as if they were tuned to 'D') and flirt with the piano constantly. There isn't a lot of palm muting as they instead opted for more long drawn out passages. The guitars go from distorted to overdriven to acoustic at various points in any given song. They keep the songs at a slow to moderately slow pace for the bulk of the recording. There are various leads but no solos.

The bass plays follow the leader (sadly) but sounds good anyway. The drums are pretty standard with little to no flare at all. There is some flute playing randomly thrown in for the acoustic parts and some light background work from the keyboards as well.

The vocals are grunts and get old after awhile. There is some spoken word here and there but over all the style is grim. The lyrics are fairly poetic and not bad over all.

With the exception of the guitars there isn't a lot of really exceptional anything to discuss, except for the song writing. This album is a melodic giant that sounds like no other before or since. There is something within the humble sounds on this album that evoke a ponderous and inexplicable feeling of wonder. This isn't a dark and depressing release, which most are in this style, but something that gives hope and thought.

If there are any problems at all with this they would be directly linked to a few post production annoyances. Specifically the chirping brids that haunt damn near every song on this recording. Most are thrown in intros or outros, but if you listen intently enough you'll hear them in various songs as well. Being pagan is fine, singing about it is also fine, but throwing actual bits of nature in your music is as about as lame and annoying as you could possibly get. This is no worse than putting a crying baby (one of the most annoying things in existence regardless of location) or a barking dog in a song.

This aside, this is a damn good debut from a consistent band. While misguided and curious with regards to their production and cover art; a dead dear carcass covered in snow, presumably in a forest, and lots of birds chirping (oh how they chirp!) You could do far worse. This isn't as good as Doom-metal.com claims however.