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Into another dimension! - 91%

Silmaril, May 24th, 2003

This is an album which might not be enjoyed by many black metal fans. First of all, it features probably too many keyboards to please a big black metal fan, and also I read some critics to this album pointing out stuff like "Black metal is about being evil!" and things like that, as far as I'm concerned, this album is excellent and one of my favourites.
The album starts with Sidereal Mirror, which is probably the easier-to-listen song of the metal bunch in this album, the first 35 seconds are dominated by majestic keyboards which I imagine will probably sound incredible if you have giant speakers and a full surround sound set (or whatever they're called). Then the guitars and drums kick in. The production gives a strong emphasis on the keyboards, leaving the guitars and drums a little forgotten while the melodies are driven by the keys. This may sound bad to some people, but believe me, it is an awesome album!The speed is most of the time very high, the guitar sound is somewhat distorted and the drums are very fast, while the vocals aren't as 'demonic' to be considered 'oure black metal vocals', what I mean by this is, Sirius' vocalist Gornoth is no Ihsahn. And speaking of Ihsahn, this album was produced by Samoth at his Nocturnal Art label, which explains why there's a certain Emperor and Limbonic Art feeling.
The next two songs are Collapsing Spheres of Time and Ethereal Flames of Chaos, which are similar to the first song, with their over the top keyboards, but the second and third songs give slightly more emphasis on the guitar sound.
Then the fourth track will surprise you, "The Stargate" is a 100% keyboard song which will imediatly pop in your head images of galaxies and dimensional portals. I like to consider it an anthem to Cosmos!
Tracks #5 and #6 return to 'normal', although track #5 starts off a little easier in a crescendo which starts with keys, then adds guitars, then drums, then more keys, and finally the vocals. The title-track starts bombastically, immediatly when you listen to the first second the guitars, drums, keys and vocals are at full speed and stregth! This song has several tempo and sound variations, occasionaly the keyboard becomes the real factor, and around the middle of the track, for about 1 minute, the keyboard becomes the only instrument. The final 2 minutes sel off this track in a triumphant way.
Finally, track #7, Beyond the Scarlet Horizon, is another instrumental track, 100% keyboard-made, which without the majesty of "The Stragate", evokes sorrow and sadness, at the same time that it gives a certain hopeful feeling, it's a quite beautiful track in my opinion.
As for the faults of this album, well, sometimes the production could have been slightly better in handling the guitar and drums, also you get a slight feeling of finding all the metal tracks a little too similar to each other.
Pure raw black metal fans will probably hate this album, so I wouldn't recommend it to you, to all others and also those people interested in astral themes, I'd recommend you to do some downloads of this album and after hearing it for a while you might start to enjoy it!