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Blackened Power! - 94%

DecadenceImmortal, November 11th, 2008

Wow is all I can say regarding this album. I was completely blown away on first listen. This is an incredibly amazing album, with very few flaws at all

First off, I must say that I first heard of Stormlord many years ago, when I downloaded their songs "Curse of Medusa" and "Dance of Hecate". I really liked both, but I was lacking the resources at the time to further investigate the band. Just recently, I had the opportunity to obtain Stormlord's newest, Mare Nostrum, and I immediately remembered those other 2 songs that I heard many years ago, and subsequently decided to get the album. After only two listens, I concluded that this was one of the best albums I have heard all year.

The main thing that makes this album so amazing, is the unique sound Stormlord achieve. Overall, this album sounds like epic power metal with black metal vocals. Imagine a less technical Symphony X (not technically power metal, but whatever..) with the combined vocals of Antestor, Enthrone-era Dimmu Borgir and Graveworm. The epic powerful black metal style Stormlord has on this album stands out more than any of their other releases. Symphonic elements abound throughout the album, with an amazing use of choirs and orchestra. Aside from the notable power metal influence, many others are quite detectable. One of my most favorite moments on this album is in the song 'Neon Karma". Half-way through the song, Type O Negative is invoked, and the result is absolutely amazing. In terms of influences, this album is incredibly diverse at times, but overall, the album is incredibly consistent. Mare Nostrum's production is also worth mentioning. The mix is absolutely perfect, and each instrument's sound quality is amazing.

Mare Nostrum is an incredible album. From the more traditional black metal track "Dimensional Hate" to the acoustic "The Castaway", the album with captivate from beginning to end. There is nothing really negative about this album, aside from 2 or 3 tracks not being as amazing as the rest. This album deserves a listen from all fans across the metal spectrum, and should become a blueprint for a blackened power metal style. "Mare Nostrum", "Neon Karma", and "Stormlord" are the best tracks found on the album.