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This is unexpected... - 42%

Iron_In_The_Fog, January 31st, 2006

1. Declaration Against Judeo-Christianity (Intro)

"Declaration Against...." starts off with brooding synth keyboards over some ambient sounds that could easily be the start to any of today's modern techno/new age bands i.e. Frontline Assembly or Delirium. Around the 1:40 mark layered vocals come in chanting, very reminiscent of early death metal for example Obituary & Death, the vocals are drenched in reverb and echo heavily.

Overall this gets a 4/10 because it seems to be a very pointless intro, the only thing that pulls this from a lower score is the chanted vocals because this style is not widely used in the NSBM scene.

2. Completing the Four Sides of the Flaming Sickle

"Completing the Four Sides..." comes in all guns blazing, blast beats, screeching 80s Death Metal vocals, just after 10 seconds the riff changes and drum beat changes to mid paced double bass. It reverts back to blast beats around 0:46 mark. Through the entire 5:44 of this song what I notice is the keyboards, they are constantly their not giving the guitars room to breath. Their is a somewhat reverb tone to the guitars, this track wouldn't be in the wrong place if it was on a Dark Funeral album.

Overall this gets a 3/10 because their is nothing overly original about this song, I find my self skipping through the song to find any traces of good riffage only to realize I’ve skipped my way through the entire. Overall a through tedious song, unless your fans of Dark Funeral and today's melodic black metal. Not something I would expect from an NSBM band.

3. Under the Banner of Hate

"Under The Banner Of Hate" comes in and immediately you can hear the keyboards, the guitars and drums very reminiscent of Dimmu Borgir. Around the 0:40 mark the guitars take on a slight Fear Factory influence with the chord progressions. Blast beats ensue, as the song progresses the vocal delivery and structure becomes slightly more interesting with overdubs and sticks out from the rest of the song.

Overall this song gets a 4/10 because or though it is better than "Completing the Four Sides..." it is mainly blast beats and overpowering keyboards, this song becomes very tedious after about a minute.

4. Monuments of the Elder Faith

Now we come onto "Monuments of the Elder Faith" the title track of the EP, this track comes in fast paced double bass drum beats with guitar riffs very reminiscent of early Gehenna, around the 0:40 mark the drums change to blast beats before reverting back to double bass. Around the 1:30 mark the vocals come in and once again the keyboards overpower the guitar riffs leaving just a wall of sound no different to that of Gehenna or Dimmu Borgir. As the song progress we find some originality around the 3:40 mark as the riffs taking on a slightly dreamy feel to them this carries on until we reach 4:40 in the song where the drums and riffs become more fast paced and the drums change to blast beats, as we enter the ending minutes of the song are the 5-6 minute mark the riffs change to something slightly reminiscent of Gehenna again but more original, the song carries on like this as the drums switch from blast to double bass constantly.

Overall this track gets a 6/10 because it is by far the most original track on the EP, the song however is still very tedious and can become boring at times with its overpowering keyboards that are no different to that of Dimmu Borgir.

5. Invisible Empire (Outro)

"Invisible Empire" starts off very much in the same way "Declaration Against..." does, only it doesn't have the techno/new age overtones or chanted grunts leaving just the brooding keyboards, this outro I feel would be more suited on a Dimmu Borgir album than on an NSBM record.

Overall I give this track 0/10, as it is very bland, generic and pointless to the whole feel of the record.

Overall if your not into melodic black metal, for example the bands I spoke of in the review namely Early Gehenna, Dark Funeral and Dimmu Borgir do not buy this EP.