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Great release - 95%

Taliesin, March 12th, 2006

This is Striborg's second album, his first "Spiritual Catharsis" was a harsh and unrelentingly cruel descent into the darkest forests and the bleakest realms of the soul. It had a very distinct guitar tone (like all Striborg) and a distinct dark atmosphere. This album follows suit, with a distinct feeling on it, less based in the forest, and more based on the dark visions of the soul. The guitar tone is less cathartic, and more atmospheric, while keyboard is featured much more, with strong keyboard tones mixed with strange ethereal tones. The bass is less audible then before (most of his demo work, and on "Spirital Catharsis" the bass was quite strong and clean, providing a strange framework), sometimes it becomes more audible, sometimes less. The vocals tend to be more agressive as well. But there is a distance on here, perhaps less cruel feeling, but still quite strong. Striborg is not concerned with the listeners own perceptions. You have to get used to his methods, which is more like early black metal. Bathory didn't bow down to peoples needs when he recorded "Under the Sign of the Black Mark" with that harsh guitar tone (which is by the way an obvious influence on Striborg's chosen guitar tone), instead people had to grow to like it. When the artist places artistry above pleasing the masses, that is when innovation begins to grow, and with Striborg one can hear innovation growing. On each of his releases, even the demos, one can hear the boundaries of black metal being pushed forward, even as the music itself is solidly grounded in the black metal of old.
This release is like all Striborg essential. But Striborg is true cult, being beyond even the kvlt bastards that are giving the style a bad name. Striborg should be listened to by all people who want to hear where the true future of the style lies, but sadly most people will probably not even realize the greatness of this work, because like all great things it is so idiosyncratic that it passes by the minds of lesser men. In short, true eeire forest black metal, true-er then any "trve" band could ever be.