Borknagar / Winter Thrice

Winter Thrice

Borknagar is a progressive black metal band from Bergen, Norway, founded in 1995 by Øystein Garnes Brun. The band’s style combines black metal and folk metal with progressive and melodic elements. Borknagar’s lyrics often deal with philosophypaganismnature, and the cosmos.

Winter Thrice is the tenth studio album by the Norwegian band Borknagar.

The Analysis—-

The Rhymes Of The Mountain—-Epic in sound right from the onset, the vocal that emerges is amazing. The edge of the vocal is rough, but accessible enough to allow even the casual listener to become intrigued. The drums here are amazing. The vocal play…between the pleasant clean snaps and then the surprise guttural rants keeps me really interested. This is fantastic.

Winter Thrice—-I really love moody music….I mean you can almost feel the coldness as this track begins. I love the drums as usual…the vocal here reminds me of the clean vocals from Dimmu Borgir…..so high and clear. The guitars come and go….sharp blasts and then an almost acoustic sound as the song progresses. This is epic…. the song is huge…I can’t imagine this live! As usual the song takes a turn for the dark as the Death Metal quell enters midstream…..really nice.

Cold Runs The River—-Much more aggressive right from the onset, I love this song. The vocal is brutal…seeming to be driven to madder limits by the relentless drums. The clean vocal does emerge…but the star of the show on this track is the aggressive nature of the music. The instrumentation is so thick…it just seems to swell and swell…this is literally fantastic. My favorite track on this release.

Panorama—-Returning to a more orchestral intro, the epic swells of music are magnificent. I really don’t care for the opening vocals here…it all seems mechanical and uninspired. It is the music that makes this song so incredible. The keyboards are incredible…and the drums always steal the show with this band. This song really does get better as the song progresses.

When Chaos Calls—-A gentle keyboard opens up this track before pure musical mayhem ensues. The clean vocal has a nice demented delivery to it…the drums…so fuckin fast I have whiplash. This is moody in it’s own way…but the band begins to suffer from the ‘sameness syndrome’ after a bit on this release. Thank God for the Death Metal elements that emerge here and there to keep everything a little more interesting. Sometimes this bands music just sounds like on long continuous song.

Erodent—-At this point in the release,and I don’t want to sound hyper-critical, this just sounds all the same to me. The music is very very, to much, consistent. I wish I could get an entire track with just the eerie, maniacal death rattle vocal. The clean vocal rarely has any musical differentials…everything seems to be in the same note. I would like a soaring scream here and there.

Noctilucent—-Slow and measured from the very first note, this is an even track. The music is fairly sedate and reminds me of a very peaceful, cold dark night. The sounds from the keyboards are incredible..it’s amazing what you can produce with a good machine. This is nice. The vocal finally enters….delivering much the same as we have had thus far…nothing new…this would have been a great instrumental track…in my opinion.

Terminus—-YES…..brutal and aggressive right from the first note…this is what I needed from this band. The dirty vocal [if you will] is extraordinary and driving. Much to soon everything is interrupted by a slower pace and the clean vocal…but the mayhem returns. I am very thankful for the variance in the sound of the song. You never quite know what to expect…I like this a lot.

Bonus Track:

Dominate Winds—-Really offering very little new, you can definitely say this band is very consistent in sound. This track sounds like the first…third and 8th. The variance is so minimal…it leaves me empty. I need a little differential to keep my attention. this release for me…was a disappointment.

**3/4 out of 5

 

 

 

 

Cradle Of Filth / Cryptoriana-The Seductiveness Of Decay [Bonus Tracks]

Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness of Decay

Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay is the twelfth studio album by the British extreme metal band Cradle of Filth. It was released on 22 September 2017 through Nuclear Blast Records.

Dani Filth said the album “is deeply infused with Victorian gothic horror and thus the title is a reflection of that. ‘Cryptoriana’ implies the Victorians’ infatuation with the supernatural, the grave and the ghoulish. And the subtitle, ‘The Seductiveness of Decay’, further cements this attraction to death and the glittering lengthy process of self-annihilation”.

The first promotional single, “Heartbreak and Séance”, premiered alongside an accompanying music video on 11 July 2017.

The second single, “You Will Know the Lion by His Claw”, premiered together with a lyric music video on 8 August 2017.

The third single, “Achingly Beautiful” was also released in conjunction with a lyric video on 15 September. Vocalist Dani Filth stated the single “has a very old-school Cradle vibe.” and compared it to the song “A Gothic Romance” from the album Dusk and Her Embrace.

The Analysis:

Exquisite Torments Await—-The one thing you can always count on with a new Cradle release is consistency. This begins much in the vein as you would expect…orchestrated and atmospheric…interrupted by a gut wrenching scream, then the growl of Dani Filth that wanders between squeal and bark. The remarkable chorus is fantastic….with what sounds like a choir of voices and orchestration. The drumming is fantastic….and the guitars soar as well as the vocal.

Heartbreak And Seance—-The intro for this track melds from the previous track…allowing for a cohesive transition. The simple fact that Filth can still scream like this is incredible. The song moves at a blistering speed…the words come at you fast and furious with a generous amount of evil spit included. Filth sounds incredible…..but the band on this outing sounds even fresher and more driven than ever.

Achingly Beautiful—-Teasing us with a gentle instrumentation at the onset, there is only 30 seconds before all hell breaks loose and we are off and running again….trying to keep up with Dani Filth and his blistering fast lyrics. The way the vocal changes tones is amazing….from screams to growls in a split second. The addition of trademark female vocals add a depth and fullness to the song. The rhythm section of this band is ON POINT!!!! The drums are just amazing. I am falling in love with the band all over again. The toy like piano and the orchestration with the conclave of voices add a nice break in the song and make it sound literally huge.

Wester Vespertine—-Beginning slow and overblown, the band enters…sounding a little muted to me like a huge wind is blowing over them. The bass guitar is literally huge on this track…..you can feel the chug chug chug in your temples. As usual, Filth never disappoints with his vocal. The nice overdubs add another sense of harmony to the entire thing. This is fantastic! The spoken female parts of the song give it a nice demonic edge…..Happy Halloween!!!!

The Seductiveness Of Decay—-With a deeper more plodding intro, you can only guess what will occur. The song builds and builds on the bass sound…slowly adding nice guitar leads and then the bullet fast blast of the bass line. Dani again…sings so damn fast…you wonder how he can fit so many words in a single bar of music. This is aggressive and made a bit uglier by the gutter vocal…the song lightens up here and there….nice breaks in the aggression…but then enters back into the fray of mayhem. I love this track…..at the midpoint…there is a rhythm and melody that is almost addictive. At times the bass line sounds straight out of the Steve Harris playbook!!!

Vengeful Spirit —-Ha…..fool me once and all that Cradle…..this pretty interlude is all a facade…lol. Dani almost whispers in the aggressive guitar attack that emerges….and then delivers line after line of scary storybook horror stories. The band sounds so incredible to me on this release…the female vocal adds depth and body to the song…taking you to an even higher level. This is the best Cradle in quite awhile.

You Will Know The Lion By His Claw—-No gentle introductions here, this track is pretty much off and running right from the get-go. The band sounds incredible….does all this orchestrated sound come from just a keyboard…the result is huge. Filth sounds demented on this track…urging you to do unworldly things….and you just dying to comply. The bass section again….just drives the track….giving it a groove underneath everything that sucks you in. I love this….Filth can scream like a Mother Fuc&er!!!!

Death And The Maiden—-Rounding out the proper release, this track begins much with the same atmosphere as the opening track. The orchestration that introduces the song is almost bordering on beautiful. The band kicks in with the most melodic delivery of anything thus far on the record. This is remarkably intricate and almost pretty at times…the music has all of these small nuances that catch my attention. The track gives you many moods…but the vocal….delivered in a matching word for word at times sucks you right in…this is remarkable…..a really top notch release.

Bonus Tracks—-

The Night At Catafalque Manor—-Organized mayhem from the very onset, the band pummels through the intro before the addition of another blistering vocal from Filth. This song sounds…to me….literally huge! Dani, at times on this track, literally sounds possessed…aided in the backdrop by the soaring oohs of the female vocalist. This is a magical moment…well worth paying for the bonus version of this release simply for this huge, monumental masterpiece of classic sounding Cradle. When Dani adds that classic spoken word interlude…it makes me want to re-listen to everything again!

Alison Hell—-Another acoustic and gentle interlude, the bursts of power eventually over ride the beauty and transport us back to Metal Heaven. Again….I listen to this and think of Iron Maiden again. This is fantastic…the mood changes throughout the song are damn near perfect…..giving you LOTS to pay attention to. This is fantastic…..Dani finally enters and delivers a true Metal vocal….sounding as good as he did when the band first began. This is a fantastic release!

****3/4 out of 5

 

Dimmu Borgir & The Norwegian Radio Orchestra & Choir / Forces Of The Northern Night

Forces of the Northern Night

Dimmu Borgir (/ˌdɪm ˈbɔːrɡɪər/ or Norwegian: [dɪmmʏ bɔɾgiɾ] or Norwegian pronunciation: [dɪmmʏ bɔʁgiʁ]) is a Norwegian symphonic black metal band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 1993. The name is derived from Dimmuborgir, a volcanic formation in Iceland, the name of which means “dark cities” or “dark castles/fortresses” in Icelandic, Faroese and Old Norse. The band has been through numerous lineup changes over the years; guitarist Silenoz and vocalist Shagrath are the only original members who still remain with guitarist Galder being a longstanding member.

The Analysis—-

Xibir [Orchestra Only]—-If you are a fan of Dimmu, or even slightly acquainted, this recording seems only natural in the grand scheme of things. What an experience it must be as an Orchestra member to play with such a dark and epic band. This track is lush and full of orchestrated moods and energy. Combining the choir of voices with the overblown music comes together to create something damn magical.

Born Treacherous—-The opening strains of the band are greeted by a huge swell of excitement. The music played by the band is bolstered and made so much larger by the Orchestra. Shagrath and his growl seems to wrap itself around the magnificent strings. This only makes the band seem even larger. I love this recording. When the choir joins in on the chorus it is an incredible journey in itself.

Gateways—-With a huge swell full of strings and those magnificent drums and bass line. this song becomes literally huge. Like an epic journey through guttural vocals accompanied by a beautifully landscaped Orchestra, the dichotomy is incredible. Shaw makes an appearance here….I never cared for her very much.  She nor a full choir can even come close to the incredible vocal style from ICS Vortex…..a huge mistake for the band to lose him.

Dimmu Borgir  [Orchestra Only]—-Serving as almost an introduction to the proper song, the choir soars with a huge anthem style delivery that just sounds beautiful. The swells of voices, strings and movements are like a huge movie come to life. Magnificent.

Dimmu Borgir—-Perhaps one of my favorite tracks from the band as of late, this is delivered with a huge and intense grandiosity. As Shagrath takes his proper place at the microphone and urges the crowd toward mania, the Orchestra and choir keep pace with the venom remarkably well. This is even better than the original version of the song. I am enthralled and in love. The swells and huge string delivery with the backing choir all come together to create a perfect magnificent storm.

Chess With The Abyss—-This seems a bit more straight forward in delivery…the orchestration is there…but not overly pronounced. The vocal here is the powerful force….along with the lead guitar that is blistering fast. The choir does an incredible job with the backing vocal, but Shagrath is the star here…sounding driven and demonic.

Ritualist—-With sound effects and an almost gentle acoustic intro, the sound falls away to invite the mayhem to the center stage. The vocal from Shagrath just seems so comfortable with all the members of the choir and orchestra. This is an amazing endeavor and recording.

A Jewel Traced Through Coal—-Delivering an incredibly huge sound, the energy of the recording threatens my ears and speakers. The strings swell to an almost bursting apex. The vocal from Shagrath always front and center and never drowned by the band or all the other musicians on stage. The choir adds a back swell that makes the song so huge. Just incredible.

Eradication Instincts Defined [Orchestra Only]—-Jaunty and overblown, this is delivered with a lot of flourish and grand choir overtones. I like it….but I can take or leave this…it all has a same like quality to it.

Vredesbyrd—-Stepping out of the depths of hell with a vocal that that belies and grandiosity, this track is pure and simple classic Dimmu. You almost miss the overblown backdrop of the orchestra simply because the vocal is so aggressive. This is fantastic….the crowd seems literally out of their minds…and the participation in fantastic. A stand out track…I have not heard this song in a long time.

Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse—-Perhaps the most well known track from the band, I love the backdrop of the swells of music, but the choir can not even come close to replacing the soaring vocal of former member Vortex. This is a bit of a disappointment for me…..I just miss that classic clean vocal line.

The Serpentine Offering—-Perhaps my favorite track from In Sorte Diaboli, the orchestration here makes the sound and the energy seem even larger than could be imagined. The orchestration was always here on this song from the original…but here it becomes even larger. What surprises me is how Shagrath never loses the power of his vocal despite all that is going on. Just remarkable.

Fear And Wonder [Orchestra Only]—-Overblown and moody, this serves as a slight transition I suppose….but to me….it would be a lot to sit through…..

Kings Of The Carnival Creation—-Jetting into the back catalog for another fan favorite track, Shagrath sounds just as evil as he ever did….despite the delivery of the song. The buildup is maddening before the band truly kicks in….and for me, the song loses some of its venom in his setting. I like it….but I will take the original any day…..

Puritania—-Huge and incredible drums introduce this track…the distortion on the vocal adds to the credibility of the band. The sharp and quick bursts of music takes me back to the days when the Black Metal sound of Dimmu was more pure if you will. This is delivered with a nice energy…it is easy to remember the old days.

Mourning Place—-True in sound and delivered with just the right attitude and tone of venom this is just magnificent. I love the snarl that Shagrath delivers….backed by the higher tones of the choir…..it all comes together to create an incredible sound and energy.

Perfection Or Vanity [Orchestra Only]—-Ending what must have been a very long evening, this is delivered with the same beauty and intricacy as the opening track. This is certainly a journey all of it’s own. Now….it’s time for Dimmu to return to what they do best…….recording….please?

**** out of 5

 

Loudwire.com 2014 Metal Album Of The Year—-Behemoth / The Satanist

The Satanist

Behemoth is a Polish blackened death metal band from Gdańsk, formed in 1991. They are considered to have played an important role in establishing the Polish extreme metal underground.

Until the late 1990s, the band played a traditional black metal style with heathen lyrical content, but soon changed to that of occult and thelemic themes written by their lead vocalist Nergal and Krzysztof Azarewicz. With the 1999 release of Satanica, the band demonstrated their presence in the death metal scene, while retaining their own signature style characterized by the drum work of Inferno, multi-layered vocals and Middle-Eastern influences. Despite Behemoth having been labeled as death metal or thrash metal-influenced, Nergal has mentioned that he does not like the band to be labeled.

The Satanist is the tenth album by Polish extreme metal band Behemoth. The album was announced on 31 May 2013 and released on February 3, 2014 through Nuclear Blast and on February 4 in Poland via Metal Blade Records and Mystic Production, respectively. Release was preceded by digital download single “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” and 12″ EP under the same title released on December 4, 2013.

The Analysis—-

Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel—-A favorite band of mine for a very long time, there is little in my eyes these guys go ever do wrong. Nergal came back from his leukemia battle sounding huge and more possessed than ever. The music is dark, dense and layered with sounds….the voice comes at you from the dark with natural…not forced…evil overtones. This is a huge epic release…..the intro song just sets you up for the incredible journey to follow.

Furor Divinus—-Right from the onset, the sound of this track is a bit muddier and dark. The drums are incredible….the rest of the instruments all seem to play to there own song which makes this sound layered, textured and almost like pure mayhem. Meanwhile the vocal slides over the top of everything with dark and evil overtones that make you feel as if you are going mad. Stellar in every way.

Messe Noire—-With loud and raucous odes to Satan, the vocal smacks you in the face from the very first note. After the first bar or so, the song takes off at a pace that literally leaves you breathless and shaking your head in amazement. This is so dark…it’s light and intense. I love this band. Nergal has never sounded more driven or possessed by his message.

Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer—-With an actual build up to the vocal, I find myself waiting with baited breath for the mayhem to commence. Once the drums kick in at hyper drive, the vocal is right there to tell you about the glories and redeeming powers of Lucifer. Driven through this dark tunnel your mind almost begs for light….but instead you drive deeper into the tunnel….just incredible.

Amen—-Incredibly fast drums and a bass line from hell smack yo in the face from the very first notes….with a slight downshift in the music, the vocal enters and then everything kicks back p again leaving you in a trail of black dust. The puked vocal is so intense I fear I could lose my mind….but the loss would be so magnificent at the hands of this band.

The Satanist—-A bleak and dark tone introduces this track…leaving you a bit confused by the calm nature of the whole thing….although the sound is huge and epic. The plodding feel of the music is offset by incredible drums and a static lead guitar line that still leaves the mind breathless. The vocal enters and sounds less driven than anything else on this release thus far…but the sound is monstrous anyways. The ‘chorus’ of the song has a brilliant melody line that runs through it…..I am always surprised by the brilliance.

Ben Sahar—-Incredibly dark in tone and layered with a bass line melody that makes you want to sway back and forth, the kick drum hits you right in the fuckin forehead. Nergal delivers his patented vocal that magically rides over all of the noise of the instruments and tells his tale of being Satan’s ally. Monstrous and incredible.

In The Absence Ov Light—-BAM!!!!! smacked right in the forehead at the first note, the melody line that is present in this song is incredible…you can pick it up despite everything that is going on around you from the different instruments and the sewer filled vocal of Nergal. The song has downshifts….a gentle almost acoustic guitar line allows for a spoken word verse in Polish that sounds even more evil than it would in English. This is freak in fantastic.

O Father O Satan O Sun!—-Loaded with a remarkable almost accessible melody line right from the first note, this is perhaps my favorite track on this release. The song has everything that made this entire release incredible….darkness…melody…evil…..drums…..a fantastic vocal….a great higher lead guitar line. this is an epic end to a fantastic release.

***** out of 5

 

 

Loudwire.com 1997 Metal Album Of The Year—-Emperor / Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk

Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk

Emperor is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1991, regarded as highly influential by critics and emerging black metal bands.The group split up in 2001, but reunited from 2005 to 2007 for a few festival dates and brief US tours, and again reunited in 2013 to 2014. The group was founded by Ihsahn (guitar/vocals) and Samoth (then, drums).

Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk is the second studio album by Norwegian black metal band Emperor. It was released on 8 July 1997 through Candlelight Records and Century Black.

The Analysis—-

Alsvartr [The Oath]—-Beginning with a nice melodic acoustic style guitar, the listener may very well be taken aback by the sound. It is not long before the song begins to take form with an eerie vocal incantation as the atmosphere builds and builds until you are literally breathless with anticipation. In all reality, you are being prepared for……

Ye Entrancemperium—-And now….we are off and running to pound loudly on the doors of hell. the drums are so fast and delivered at such a pace it seems to be the maddening pound of evil. The slight orchestrated feel of the song provides the melody and backbone of the song. The voice…seems under produced and pushed to the back…but sounds way better than the vocal did on Nightside . This is incredible…fast….dark and delivered with the right level of  evil.At times when the clean vocal emerges…you can almost hear a resemblance to Serj Tankian.

Thus Spake The Night Spirit—-Epic right from the first note, you can hear the quasi-orchestration from the keyboards. The death scream that serves as the introductory vocal is only eclipsed by the incredible drums that smack your head back and forth on your neck. The vocal…when it fully emerges is hard to understand….but the intent is clear…this is dark and driven by a force. I love the energy and the forbidden sound of it all.

Ensorcelled By Khaos—-No time to catch your breath, as this track kicks you in the face from the first note. The guitars sound really powerful on this….a literal huge wall of sound that creates their own landscape. The vocal seems unformulated and all over the place…but you can’t escape the majesty and mastery of the music…there are huge breaks and ebbs in the music…..and then you are lifted right back up again. Incredible.

The Loss And Curse Of Reverence—-Seeming to roll directly from the previous track, there is no room for variance or experimentation on this release….what you ordered is what you get…pure brutal Black Metal that gives your entire brain a workout. This track just seems to wrap around and attack me from every angle. The brutality is incredible…but underneath of it all is that keyboard melody line that provides the glue that gives the noises structure. This is fantastic….a favorite track from this release.

The Acclamation Of Bonds—-Very accessible at the onset, there are huge swells of keyboards to introduce the song before the drums and the vocal lead us down a dark path. The keyboards are always there though….providing the need structure to formulate the song. These are well trained musicians….never think for a moment this is just bashed out noise and screams and thus a record is made. The thought, the structure, the writing is top notch. This is a landmark recording.

With Strength I Burn—-Although thee is little new to offer in critique of this track, I can only mention that which really impresses me…..an incredible drum track….that helped set the standard for many of the bands in this genre today, a blistering vocal that impresses, and a melody line that appears…disappears….but always seems present. I love the clean vocal element of this song….it gives some variance and breaks up the monotonous feel of the record at this point. Just exquisite.

The Wanderer—-Ending the release with a slight somber and calm note, this track is full of swirling atmosphere and a certain sadness that pervades it through the entirety. Huge in grandiosity and tone…it is a fantastic closer to an incredible effort.

**** out of 5

 

 

 

Satyricon / Satryicon

Satyricon

Satyricon is a Norwegian black metal band, formed in 1991 in Oslo. Satyr and Frost have been the band’s core members since 1993. The band’s first three albums typify the Norwegian black metal style. Since its fourth album in 1999, the band has strayed from this style and included elements of traditional heavy metal in their sound. Satyricon was the first Norwegian black metal band to join a multi-national record label (EMI).

Satyricon is the eighth studio album by Norwegian black metal band Satyricon. It is their first topping VG-lista, the official Norwegian Albums Chart. It was released throughout Europe on 9 September 2013, and released on 17 September 2013 in USA and Canada.

The Analysis—-

Voice Of Shadows—-I was a late comer to this band…but have now collected every release thus far. this sounds, at the onset a little subdued and less produced than the last two release. I find myself thinking the band has started to sound a bit more Industrial in sound on this release. The music is dark….but the melody on this track is almost catchy and pure. I long for the days of Now, Diabolical.

Tro Og Kraft—-Again, the rhythm section drives the feel of this track….Satyr enters with his evil sounding vocal and gives the song a bit more credibility. The record to me…has a hollow sound to it…like production could have been much better. The big sound of the last few releases in missing.

Our World, It Rumbles Tonight—-This just seems to be a mish mash of different sounds all mashed together in one song. You have the sometimes heavy feel from Satyricon, intermediate Orchestration here and there….combined with keyboards and some phenomenal drums…which I love. The form of the band seems to be struggling and a bit lost though.

Nocturnal Flare—-Beginning with a nice epic aggression, the song ebbs away into a more funeral feel as it tries to take shape. The one constant are the drums…but the effects seem to even stifle them a bit. This is such a long intro I almost lose enthusiasm. Satyr enters with his vocal…not a growl and not clean…but enough of a difference to catch my attention. Sometimes he sounds a bit pissed off…which I really like….but the shifting musical sounds are unorganized and without passion.

Phoenix—-A huge blast of aggression and rhythm greets me as this track begins….leading me back down the path of Black Metal i so love. the drums are awesome…the guest vocal from Sivert Hoyem is a surprise and an almost shock as the clear and concise vocal greets you. I love the rhythm of the song…but the purity of Black Metal is compromised in my opinion.

Walker Upon The Wind—-Beginning huge and epic in sound, the aggression is remarkable and makes me smile. This is what i wanted from the beginning. The music is fast…maniacal and the vocal comes at you in a pissed off manner that makes you draw your breath inward. This is fantastic…one of the best tracks on this release!

Nekrohaven—-Again, the aggression seems to be back to a point. The rhythm section leads the entire pace of the song, while the vocal appears to be run through a filter that makes me think of Ministry or some band in the Industrial music field. I like this……but the direction of the band seems to be faltering…so….I hear they are not recording any longer together…perhaps this loss of direction is why. This track is pretty awesome though….full of dark imagery.

Ageless Northern Spirit—-This again, has a muted feel to the music and the vocal that speaks to me of lack of production value. This track should have…and could have been epic if properly mixed and produced. I hate to see a band dissolve into mediocrity like this.

The Infinity Of Time And Space—- Moody and sounding a bit mainstream at the onset, Satyr delivers a vocal that breaks the spell a bit. The deep growling delivery is broken by a melodic guitar that crashes me enthusiasm for the track…making me wonder….what the fuck happened to this band? I’m sorry to see them go….but the creativity seems to have come to an end.

Natt—-I hate to say it, but I welcome the end to this rather lackluster release. I remain disappointed and know for a fact i will not grab this record to listen to on even a casual basis. all the integrity of the middle period of the band has dissolved and gone by the wayside. I guess for everyone there must be a new chapter…this band is ready for one….book closed!

** out of 5

 

In darkness
Underneath
The above
Swordbearer
Son of a tornado
He lies in the slumber of (dark) clouds

Born by a thought
He flies through the thunder of wars
Swirling
Ripping

Ultimate destroyer
Unspeakable avenger
Walker upon the wind
Hunting, piercing
(The) ultimate, roaring
Walker upon the wind

Son of a tornado
He lies in the slumber of (dark) clouds
Mourned, feared, adored
Accursed one, torn one, marked one

Ultimate destroyer
Unspeakable avenger
Walker upon the wind
Hunting, piercing
(The) ultimate, roaring
Walker upon the wind

 

 

Emperor / Promethus-The Discipline Of Fire & Demise

Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise

Emperor is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1991, regarded as highly influential by critics and emerging black metal bands. The group split up in 2001, but reunited from 2005 to 2007 for a few festival dates and brief US tours, and again reunited in 2013 to 2014. The group was founded by Ihsahn (guitar/vocals) and Samoth (then, drums).

Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise is the fourth and final studio album by Norwegian black metal band Emperor. It was released on 21 October 2001, through Candlelight Records. Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise differs from Emperor’s previous recordings with a focus on a more progressive style.

The album was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy Award for Best Metal album in 2001.

The Analysis—-

The Eruption—-If you are a fan of Emperor, have followed their career or even listened on a casual basis, the first thing you notice is how far the sound quality of this band has come. Gone are the muddled guitars…the mass wall of noise and the vocals that were almost unheard. Still intact though is the intensity and the aggressive lauds to all things mysterious and scary. The vocals are crisp and clear…the guitar squeals are fantastic….the drums as always are huge. The symphonic element is incredible…the vocal incantation sometimes reminding me of King Diamond when he sings in his ‘regular; voice. This is pretty fantastic.

Depraved—-Melding from the previous track, the darkness that the music has is just incredible. The atmosphere puts you in a dark fog filled forest with dripping rain all around you as you struggle to escape sheer madness. The drums on this track are smack in your face….while the crisp lead guitars give the song a direction to travel in. When the rhythm section truly kicks in, the track takes on a remarkable melody. The vocal is as we would expect…powerful and dripping with danger. The music is the incredible thing for me….so much going on….yet a distinguishing melody underneath it all.

Empty—-There is no break between tracks on this release…the entire thing playing like a well read book. This track is just pure mayhem….there is so much going on….your ears are assaulted from all sides right from the onset. The slight lull in the music allows you to catch your breath and for the vocal to move to the front of the mix. This is extreme in it’s finest form. There is nothing to frown about with this release.

The Prophet—-With a split second of silence, this track kicks in with a bit more of an orchestrated large sound. The drumming is just incredible…the double kick bass delivered at a maddening speed. The vocal sounds double tracked….layered with different tones that make it sound even more evil then previous tracks. The guitars are crisp…the squeals incredible…but the bass line underneath of it all lending to the melody of the song. This is huge in sound….and almost catchy….I love this.

The Tongue Of Fire—-Never allowing you a moment of respite, this comes right at you with an overpowering wall of noise and sound. Everything comes at you in multiple directions….literally making your head swim with the intensity. The guitars are crisp and clean….maddening at times with the same notes repeating and repeating. Perhaps…for me, one of the most aggressive tracks on this release…..this is pure noise with a lot of pleasure thrown in. The vocal is eerie…delivered with a scary sing song melody that reminds you this is evil….lol

In The Wordless Chamber—-Coming out of a musical fog to smack you right upside the head, the vocal is almost immediate and sounds more possessed than ever. The drums are huge…almost drowning out everything. The usual crisp guitars are almost absent…..taking you back to the muddled and maniacal days of early Emperor. The death screams that are emitted are shockingly surprising. The slight orchestra moments adding to the huge feel of the song. Then comes the marching rhythm to the song….giving it form and substance. This is though out Metal……I love this song!!!

Grey—-Drums and soaring squealing guitars begin this track….taking you on another dark and heavy journey. The vocal enters….sounding pissed off and driven by unseen forces. This is extreme….I love how the crisp guitar is showcased…giving the track a nice clarity and substance. The deep bass sounds are here, but the lead guitars make the track a bit more accessible to the listener. This is fantastic! This really reminds me of King Diamond!!!!

He Who Sought the Fire—-No rest for the wicked….let’s go!!!! The guitars continue on the tirade of the previous track. The drums…..MY GOD……how is it possible to play like this. They take up the entire song….huge…..fast and powerful. The vocal is as you would expect….the surprise for me are the intermittent guitar stops and breaks…then they soar…then they disappear….this is talent…not just studio pummeling. Extreme!!!

Thorns On My Grave—-Rounding out the release with yet another epic track, there is still little time to catch your breath as we meld right into the final brutal drum driven track that reminds you what hell must sound like. Indeed…perhaps it is not such a bad place after all eh? The soaring guitars never drown out the double kick drum that leads you on a frenetic journey to hell. The vocal enters….and I’m shocked by some of the higher notes that are emitted. This is just incredible…leaving me thirsty and almost bleeding for more. If this is indeed the end for this band…you could never ask for a better swan song.

**** out of 5