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For the completists only - 75%

The_Ghoul, January 9th, 2009

For those who do not know Setherial, they are a black metal band that operates within the mid-high speed range and occupy the often rather technical drumming with maiden-esque leads and fills, all with the occasional keyboard line thrown into the mix for added mysticism. The songs often feature progressive patterns and song structures, often telling more like a story rather than a poem.

Now that you know what to expect from Setherial, on with the review. For Dem Mitt Blod is a 2 song EP released a year before their epic full length debut Nord... and a year after A Hail To The Faceless Angels, their demo. Musically, For Dem Mitt Blod is related closer to Nord..., as well as sharing a song. Because this shares so much in common, musically, with the Nord... album, any analysis of this is eventually going to come down to this question: Does "For Dem Mitt Blod" constitute enough of a difference from Nord... to justify purchase, say, if one saw it on Ebay or Amazon? The answer is a yes, if not just for the "kvlt points" you would get.

This EP functions in a much similar way to Dimmu Borgir's "Inn I Evighetens Morke", in that it's an EP that foreshadows the upcoming full length and contains similar songs. (Note: I am not insinuating that Setherial and Dimmu Borgir are similar in any way. DB play a melodic black/blackened metal style that bears similarity to Cradle Of Filth's gothic/black metal sound, though DB is more aggressive and blackened than COF. Setherial, on the other hand, well, I've already described their sound in the first paragraph.) In that sense, For Dem Mitt Blod is a much more sound purchase than if one found a copy of the original 7" version of Inn I Evighetens Morke. The production, offhand, on For Dem Mitt Blod is much more compact and boxy than the overwhelmingly spacious sound on Nord... and the drums are a lot more organic sounding, with a lot less echo than on Nord... and the following albums. The guitars occupy a greater amount of frequencies in the mix, with a more balanced sound than that on Nord..., but they are mixed lower in the mix. Overall, the sound here is a lot cleaner, more natural, and less "fiddled with" than how Nord... was, with the sweeping drums and locust-like guitars and the whole reverbed out motif.

One nice thing about this is that the original song (the one you won't find on any other album) is pretty fuckin good too. Setherial have always been a relatively consistent band, as most of their songs have a baseline level of quality and one would be hard pressed to find a bad Setherial song. Their Blood In Me is no different, and everything that makes a Setherial song great, with the complex but hauntingly atmospheric melodies, well-rounded and well-varied drumming, guitar leads, twin guitar leads, and the shattering vocals used quite well.

As for For Mitt Dem Blod (song) you will find a slower, more melodic, and slightly longer version of the other version on Nord. If you've heard the song on Nord, you know what the song sounds like, and even if you don't, it's a Setherial song, and as I said before, Setherial consistently put out ace material. Again, though, the question remains that is this different enough from the version on Nord to justify repeated listens? Yes, but to the extent that at the end of the day, I prefer the version on Nord. It's really a matter of personal preference, though. There are some guitar leads present on the Nord version that hadn't been thought up here, and some leads present here that would end up being dropped on the Nord version. As well, the pattern of emphasis on each individual section is notably different, lending the song a soundly different dynamic. However, it's still the same song, so in the end the version you like better will more often or not be the version you heard first.

All in all, For Dem Mitt Blod fulfills the category of a black metal curiousity, in the sense that it's nice to have, but when/if you buy it, consider this: This is comprised of just 2 songs, both in the 4 minute range, one of which appears on a later album with substantially more material and a faster and heavier performance. If you still want to get it, then I guarantee you that you won't regret getting it. Still, don't expect many listens out of it. As my title says, this is for the Setherial completists only. If you d-word the entire discography, then my suggestion would be to burn it in tandem with Nord. It makes an interesting addendum/prelude to the thunderous Nord..., but in the end, the lack of songs here condemns it to just a black metal curiousity, a footnote to the classic Nord..., nothing more.