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Perfection!!! - 100%

prometeus, June 7th, 2009

This is a masterpiece! Just a fucking masterpiece! It’s incredible how they’ve managed to pull it off so well! We have doom, gothic, black, symphonic and traditional metal with elements of classical and ambient music. This is a consistent package and it's not for everybody. If you manage to get into this music, it's like... well; it's a very deep and unnamed feeling.

It starts with symphonic elements, then the metal starts. Miron and the other guy have a cool guitar tone and the drummer has a great drum sound. They have a playing so different from the ordinary stuff. The guitarists use a lot of palm muting and tremolo picking, efficient and distinctively from other guitarists from the metal scene (they sound a bit like Malmsteen, but without the shredding, maybe because of the classical influences). They have a lot of melodies: catchy, melancholic or epic or all. The guitars rule all the way. We have the darker composition on Angel's Retreat and the epic and classical influenced title track; also there is the clean playing on Born to Be King of Innerself. There are also some solos - the title track has a bluesy feel.

The keyboards are the more common elements, but that is an essential element, because, well... it was 2000... You can't find 100% originality in a metal release these days. But they are cool, moving from the dark atmospheres of Angel's Retreat and Thinking... to the more melancholic feelings of the title track and Born to Be King of Innerself. From The Nameless Oracle is standing in the middle. Also, we have the symphonic parts: the intros of From the Nameless Oracle and the title track, which are well thought and executed. Imagination is the key in this band. No wonder they have spent over 3 years to compose this epic album. There is also Outro, a good way to end an album, the easiest to digest track on this album. It's like the point when you look back and reflect on the last 50 minutes.

The bass and vocals are also another chapter well executed. The bass has the black metal curse. It follows the guitars and its pretty low in the mix, but it has a lead part on Angel's Retreat. It's cool!

The vocals are so diverse and it's difficult to remember all of the voices: the whispers, screams, screeches, narrations and the female spoken verses and the opera singings, from the better-than-Nightwish pop – ish style, on the title track and Born to Be King of Innerself, to the spooky singing on Angel's Retreat: a great performance! There is also a trio of vocalists, Miron and the women vocalists singing on Born to Be King of Innerself. Incredible!

The drums are kicked and kicked. It's one of the fastest kick playing. This guy kicks the drums very fast and, more importantly, it's a constant playing. Some blast beat are used (a very good use), but, usually, the hands are rarely used as much as the feet. Very precise and diverse drumming and doesn't ruin the album's atmosphere.

The production could have been better, but it gives cool and strange guitars and drums sounds, which gives the album more originality.

And so I end the review (1 out of 4 at this time - very few reviews!!!) and I recommend the album to all of those who manages to find that Tvangeste exists. 100 points from me and I hope that this album will receive much more attention than it already has.

Emotional Music - 84%

tallhagillani, September 29th, 2007

Tvangeste is an extreme metal band that loves to add symphonies and the orchestra feeling to their music, this act takes their music away from great symphonic black metal bands like Empeor or Limbonic Art and closer to the new sound of bands like Therion. Most of the Russian bands who add symphonies to their music are different from the bands from the rest of the world and this band is no different, forget all the stupid comparisons that I've made because the music is good, songs are not cheesy, very well structured, long (all songs are over eight minutes long with few exceeding over ten minutes except the outro).

These songs are full of emotions, the symphonies are composed in such a way that when combined with the extreme metal sound a sound that is new and original, which contains the ability to capture the listener and force him to listen to the complete album. This isn't the type of music that you'd like to listen while jumping around or doing something else, if you want to enjoy this album to the full extent then you'll have to calm your mind and body and then listen to this album with complete attention. This applies for every good symphonic black metal album because the purpose of the sound is to play with your emotions and mind and to take you in another world of complete fantasy. Luckily the songs are written in English which adds new meanings to the sound and overall takes the music to a whole new level because it is always more fun in understanding the lyrics as well as the sound and the lyrics are really well written. Russia is such a beautiful country and this beauty if reflected from this album, epic battles along with different topics like consequences and sacrifices have been mentioned in the lyrics, the loss of humanity, sadness caused by the New Testament and by the results of the revolution of Christianity has been shown. I keep dwelling on the word "emotion" in this review because I've never felt such while listening to any other album. Lyrics wise I was reminded of a song "Do not baptize my land" by another Russian extreme metal band "Satarial".

Michael Chirva vocals are different from Dani Filth's vocals, especially while listening to this album you can't compare the two with each other, they're supported nicely by outstanding female vocals. Guitars are never consistent in the whole album, sometimes the riffs will be standard black metal riffs but they tend to change to doomish or slow paced gothic riffs with great versatility, keyboards can be somewhat compared to those that are found on Norwegian symphonic metal bands or Russian pagan metal bands. Violins along with keyboards give the music its aesthetic meaning. Drumming changes different moods on the entire album, most of the times its normal or slow but in few songs you'll find the fast drumming but it won't be brutal.

Tvangeste's second album "Firestorm" is different from this album, that is fast and the vocals have been done in different style, I am mentioning this because most of the people have listened "Firestorm" and are judging this album by their new sound without giving it a try.

A very much needed album - 90%

fimbul_winter, September 28th, 2007

Tvangeste is a band that doesn't do orthodox symphonic black metal, they've taken their inspirations from bands like Cradle Of Filth and Therion (they do not sound anything like Therion though, they're much better) and formed such sort of music that can be somewhat categorized as symphonic Black Metal. For those who do not like cof, you might like this album because this is heavier and slower than cof music but their latter album Firestorm is a fast album and those who like fast symphonic metal they should listen to Firestorm, but this album has its fast moments and is so great that not only symphonic black metal fans will love it but those who listen to doom, folk, gothic and symphonic metal, they'll love it as well, I don't want to forget about heavy metal fans, most heavy metal fans will like it, some may dislike it and very few will hate it.

There are six tracks in this album, except for the last track which is an instrumental, each track is more than eight and half minutes long while two song "From Nameless Oracle" & "Damnation Of Regiomontum" are over ten minutes long.

The lyrics create difficulty for categorizing this album as black metal because the lyrics are beautiful, very good but with simple vocabulary and with the melancholy they have in their sound this album almost becomes a masterpiece. You'll ask why "almost", I'll get to it later. Lyrics here are about Gods, Russia, legendary battles and their consequences and black, pagan and viking metal fans will love them without any doubt. The first two songs are written by the guitarist/bass player " Vanoe Mayoroff " and rest of the songs have been written by the vocalist " Michael 'Miron' Chirva ".

Miron vocals can be described as if Dani Filth is trying very hard to sing in a black metal way, his vocals are not the highlight of the album, they're not bad though and they fit in with the music and sound good. The best thing in this album is the beautiful atmosphere that they've created with subtle use of keyboards, the guitars are amazing and one other thing that they've used female vocals very intelligently, I won't describe them how coz it won't be fun this way, you'll have to listen these songs yourself to find out.

"Thinking" & "Born To Be King Of Innerself" are two of the best songs in this album. "Thinking" can be categorized as a pure symphonic black metal song while "Born To Be King Of Innerself" has some clean vocals in the begining but then the songs captures you in such a strange emotion that is difficult to describe. "Angel's Retreat" is another song that is woth mentioning. The other songs are slower compared to above mentioned songs but they are beautiful in their own way. The last track "Outro" is a one and a half minute instrumental and after listening to it I understood that why they haven't used it as an opener, it is because it is full of atmosphere with melancholy raining from everywhere and is very well placed.

As far as production is concerned, it is crystal clear. The only reason that I am not giving them 100 points is because of their drumming, its not as good as it should have been in few of the songs and this is the only reason that I didn't consider it a masterpiece, I've high hopes that they'll give us a masterpiece one day.

I would recommend this album to every human being who has an artistic nature because music as good as this should not be limited to a group, every one should listen to it. Only pure brutal black and death metal fans will not like this album, if they want to listen symphonic black metal, they should listen to Anorexia Nervosa.