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Firefrost - 87%

AtteroDeus, January 24th, 2005

Primarily I became aware of and interested in the band due to the outside engagements of two members - namely Daray with Vader, and Orion as Behemoth's most recent bassist.

Of all the bands, I've heard, that straddle the black & death genres, the majority have often been bands with death metal sounds more evident and only flourishes of black metal - such as Akercocke.

To my ears, Vesania appear to come at it from the opposite angle, namely a black metal band with the heaviness of death metal, and vocals that vary (slightly) from black metal growls a la Atilla & the more higher-toned death metal vocals.

For a want of a better comparison, Vesania sound rather like Emperor in places not just in terms of their speed and black metal visciousness but also Orion occasionally veers into Ihsahn territory vocalswise (though usually less of a scream than Ihsahn). But rather than being just another Emperor tribute band like so many others out there, most doing a dis-service to the legacy of the Norse dominion, Vesania take the keyboards which were more or less background & filler music with Emperor, and expand on them not just in between tracks or as intros to tracks, but as a strong part of the music itself.

I'm not saying that they've taken some sort of sexual obsession towards symphonica in the way in which Dimmu Borgir often have - diluting out the metal and replacing it with synths - but in far more of a subtle and mutually beneficial way.

It's not all perfection here, even taking into account my usual boredom with the majority of black metal... there is the occasional tendency - as with a lot of bands - where the songs sometimes sound rather too much like it's predecessor, but in my opinion that doesn't warrant deriding this album too much.

Maybe I've missed the death metal flourishes, as I seem to think of this far more of a black metal album than the 'black/death' it's alleged to be.
Worth checking out not just if you're an Emperor fan, but also if you're curious like I was about Orion and/or Daray's extra bands to contrast with say Behemoth & Vader or Pyorrhoea.