Thursday, April 24, 2014

Iugulatus/Satanic Pride/The End Of Times Records/2012 CD Review


  Iugulatus  are  a  band  from  Poland  that  plays  a  very  satanic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2012  album  "Satanic  Pride"  which  was  released  by  The  End  Of  Times  Records.

  Grim  black  metal  screams  start  off  the  album  before  the  band  goes  into  a  more  heavy  and  melodic  direction  along  with  some  screams  that  go  more  into  a  high  pitched  mode  and  the  band  also  brings  in  faster  elements  and  the  music  has  an  old  school  feeling  that  is  updated  for  the  more  modern  era.

  On  one  of  the  tracks  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  ritualistic  parts  are  brought  onto  the  album  before  the  band  goes  into  a  very  fast  satanic  black  metal  assault  along  with  some  blast  beats  before  bringing  in  a  mixture  of  both  slow  and  fast  parts  and  the  music  never  loses  its  melodic  touch  on  any  of  the  songs  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  some  of  the  songs  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  As  the  album  progresses  the  vocals  get  a  little  bit  deeper  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  band  also  adds  in  a  small  amount  of  death  metal  element s while  the  main  focus  is  still  on  a  melodic  satanic  black  metal  sound  which  also  brings  in  a  Swedish  and  French  orthodox  sound  at  times,  once  guitar  leads  are  added  onto  the  album  they  enhance  the  melodic  and  fast  parts  of  the  recording  and  they  are  not  utilized  on  a  regular  basis,  on  the  last  couple  minutes  of  the  album  the  music  gets  a  little  bit  more  atmospheric  and  you  can  also  hear  some  melodic  chanting  being  utilized  in  the  background.

  Iugulatus  show  a  great  amount  of  talent  and  skill  with  their  ability  to  mix  fast,  slow  and  melodic  black  metal  together  along  with  a  great  amount  of  epic  structures  being  added  into  the  guitar  riffing  as  well  as  mixing  element s of  both  the  modern  and  old  school  black  metal  genres,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  powerful  and  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  J.R.R  Tolkien,  Black  Magick,  and  Necromancy  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Iugulatus  are  a  very  great  sounding  satanic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Chaos  Invocation"  and  "Demon  Lust".  8  out  of  10.

Lucifers Hammer/Mists of Time MMXIV/Destro Records/2014 CD Re-Issue


  Lucifers  Hammer  where  a  band  from  Michigan  that  played  an  atmospheric  form  of  black/death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  1997  album  "Mists  of  Time"  which  was  re-issued  by  Destro  Records  in  2014  and  also  contains  their  1992  demo  "The  Burning  Church".

  Wind  and  thunder  sounds  start  off  the  album along  with  some  acoustic  guitars  and  synths  along  with  some  female  vocals  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  for  a  more  fast  and  raw  black  metal  sound  along  with  blast  beats  and  grim  screams  before  slowing  down  a  bit  and  adding  in  keyboards  while  also  keeping  around  the  faster  parts.

  The  band  start  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  death  and  doom  metal  influences  and  mix  them  in  with  their  black  metal  sound  and  when  they  add  in  solos  and  leads  they  enhance  the  primitive  black/death  metal  elements  of  the  recording,  as  the  album  progresses  acoustic  guitars  and  female  vocals  return  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  the  band  mostly  stick   a  heavier  and  atmospheric  direction  along  with  the  keyboards  bringing  in  a  feeling  of  an  old  horror  movie.

  As  the  album  progresses  Gregorian  chants  are  added  onto  one  of  the  tracks  and  the  guitar  riffing  starts  utilizing  more  thrash  elements  and  melody  in  the  heavier  and  darker  sections  of  the  guitar  riffing  and  a  great  amount  of  the  songs  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  they  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  ritualistic  parts  on  some  of  the  later  tracks,  and  the  band  also  adds  more  classical  music  elements  into  the  acoustic  guitars,  once  the  album  goes into  the  1992  demo  tracks  the  music  really  starts  going  for  the  raw  black/death  metal  sound  of  that  time  and  the  songs  have  a  different  style  production  than  the  tracks  that  where  presented  on  the  full length.

  On  the  demo  tracks   the  mostly  shows  the  beginnings  of  second  wave  black  metal  but  with  some  of  the  death  metal  influences  which  where  more  common  in  the  United  States  black  metal  bands  of  the  era,  and  the  band  had  a  sound  back  then  that  was  very  underrated  while  also  utilizing  the  dark  horror  film  style  keyboards  in  the  heavy  and  evil  approach  to   black/death  metal  and  the  bass  guitars  also  bring  a  very  powerful  sound  to  the  music.

  Lucifers  Hammer  show  they  where  a  very  underrated  band  for  their  time  with  their  music  being  among  some  of  the  earliest  black  metal  of  the  United  States  and  while  some  of  the  other bands  of  the  time  end  up  becoming  known,  this  band  somehow  got  forgotten  about  and  remain  obscure,  the  production  on  the  album  is  powerful  while  the  demo  tracks  have  a  rawer  sound  and  th e  lyrics  cover  evil,  occult  and  mysticism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Lucifers  Hammer  where  a  very  great  sounding  underrated  atmospheric  black/death  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Woodland  Realm"  "Ethereal  Sea  of  Forever"  "Enter  the  Eternal  Fire"  and  "Eternally  Doomed".  8/5  out  of  10.     

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

AlNamrood Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

We are thinking of releasing a 7” EP for the tracks that we didn’t include in “Heen Yadhar Al Ghasq”, this plan is preliminary.

2.Recently you have released a new album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from your previous releases?

It basically the same mechanism used in other releases, expect that a new vocal have joined the band and shifted the vocal tune and methodology drastically, the album was intended to go towards middle eastern influence more than black metal.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the new release explores?

Typically, historical war-like theme, in each album we write a new plot, however they all fall in the same theme, this album plot is about tyrannical king, he was double crossed by his own soldiers, the defected troop sat a plan to overthrow the king and maintain the town chaos, it was determined that the attack will take place when dusk appears (or when murky sky appears) hence the title of the album “Heen Yadhar Al Ghasq”.The artwork envisions the post-apocalyptical event.

4.I know that the band name comes out of Middle Eastern history, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic and also are you interested in the pre Islamic Paganism of your home country?

We reflect Art, music, history and culture into one entity crossing each other and sharing the same characteristics. As we educated ourselves about the world history, we decided to emphasize on our area since it was very interest narrative to articulate musically. We have presented the history of Arabs before Islam to highlight the original situation of Arab at that era, we looked into sociopolitical researches studies on the history of the Arabs the old and the Arabian Peninsula, in general the resources are limited due to lack of Arabian historians. It was interesting how things didn’t so changed since the ignorant era, however, The descent is a factor in the status of the individual life, 
it will determine the class of living, on the other hands  the war between clans for menial cause, accepting human slavery, burying girls and glorifying kings are still carrying on until this day. These factors are extending and it took us further to explore history and reflect it into our music as an middle eastern raging metal.

5.I know that the band has not been able to do shows where you live but have expressed an interest in doing an European tour, have you had any luck being able to set it up for the new release?

In fact the opportunities for live shows exist, but due to major security reasons, we decided to no to expose ourselves, not until we think about immigration out country, otherwise, the radical religious regime will set us to beheading!

6.What are some of the things you would bring on stage if the opportunity for a live show ever came up?

Simply we’re going to perform our songs; so this might require additional musicians to take role on the other traditional instruments,such as Darbuka, Qanoon, and other drums.

7.In the past you released a split with Dhul -Qarnyan and Ayyur, are there any other middle eastern black metal bands that you would recommend?

Nothing in particular for now, however, we are looking forward for another split with other Underground European bands.

8.The new album came out on Shaytan Productions,  can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Shaytan productions are indie label from Canada specialized in oriental and middle-eastern folk metal productions, we connected with them thru myspace, to spread our music globally, AlNamrood started with Shaytan Producions and will continue releasing the future album with them.


9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans 
of black metal?

It was great in fact in global wise, however, on the local wise, we received many threats through emails from unknown senders.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

AlNamrood was intended to be an underground metal band that rises from the most messed up place in the world, seeing the advancement we are making, we think we might become a mainstream band one day, however, this is all depends on us leaving our country with no return.

11.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Old school metal in general, black/punk metal specific, also Middle Eastern influenced bands such as Melechesh and Nile.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

We have great interest in Art and history, globalization and culture.

13.How would you describe your views on Occultism?

We consider ourselves more rebel than occultists, we emphasize on power, resistance, liberty and control-freedom.



14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or
thoughts?


Thank you for supporting AlNamrood!!

Dim Aura Interview

1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a 
little bit about the band?
We are Dim Aura from Tel-Aviv, Israel, and we play Black Metal in its 
purest form. The band was formed somewhere in 2010.
After a few months we released our debut E.P. entitled "R.U.S.T." and 
began playing live all over Israel, reviving the flame of Black Metal 
here in the local scene and keeping true to the roots and attitude of 
real uncompromising Black Metal.

2. A few months back you put out your first full length album, how would 
you describe the musical sound that is present on the recording and also 
how does it differ from the E.P. you had released a few months back?
Like I've mentioned in the previous question, we play pure Black Metal,
not more, not less. Just as simple as that.
"The Negation of Existence" consists of 8 original tracks that range 
from Black Metal to punk and rock'n'roll, which is in our minds the root 
of it all. The tracks may differ from what most listeners may expect 
because of those influences but the main focus is and always will be the 
dark side of music and art. The main difference between R.U.S.T. and our 
full length album is that with this album, we found our own sound and 
style of writing and creating dark, atmospheric yet fast and blasting 
music.

3. Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and 
subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Our vocalist H is in charge of most of the lyrics in the band, so most 
of our lyrics deal mainly with the negative sides of our human 
existence, and the negativity we all deal with at some point in our 
lives, thus the title of the album. We are fed up with the crap we are 
all force fed with throughout our lives, so this is our way to express 
this anger and disgust towards the world and human society.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Dim Aura'?
Well, when we started this band and began playing we obviously needed a
name for the project, so we threw around some ideas that never stuck and 
when Dim Aura was brought up, we just knew this is it. This is the 
banner we would like to ride beneath.
The name basically means that the aura of men is fading away... not just 
anyone in particular but all men in general,
we are all fading away.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the 
years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
I think its safe to say that our best gigs are the ones we organized 
ourselves. with not external help from bands or promoters. Yes, its a 
lot of work but we always feel way more satisfied with the gig when we 
are the ones in charge. I think our stage performance differ from lots 
of the now days shoe-gazing bands out there, who mostly focus on being 
occult and mystic, we are here to kick ass and kick it hard. We also 
keep the traditional corpse paint and spikes, 'cause it feels natural to 
us.
Black Metal is about the legacy and tradition of the past legends that 
built this genre and we are sticking to it.

6. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Yeah we do actually, but its not completely final yet so I rather not 
discuss that at this time. But European Black Metal fans should sharpen
their horns. Just saying...

7. On the FB page, there where links to Youtube that showed the band 
doing a cover of venom's black Metal, what was the decision behind doing 
your own version of this track?
We actually did a couple of more covers on gigs here and there, 
including Motorhead and The Exploited.
We figured that those are the roots of the music we are playing, so if 
we wanna pay tribute to other bands, we might as well do it right.

8. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have 
received any interest?
Yes we are. We released the album independently but we are looking for a 
label or a distro to spread this shit world-wide. We did get some 
interest but it wasn't to our liking to be honest.

9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans
of Black Metal?
We are getting good feedback from what I'm seeing, but like I said we 
are an unsigned underground band, so it's not like we have fans all over 
the globe and shit like that, it's not what we are looking for either 
way. Our music reaches those who are willing to dig up, to find new and
interesting music, that core that will always support this music and we
are happy with that.

10. What is going on with the other musical projects these days that 
some of the band members are involved with?
H's Crux Infernum is basically on hold right now, its his own project 
and he does his stuff whenever he feels like it. Infernal Nature 
(Ferum's project) did actually release new material during this time and 
its going well. Anyhow, the main thing is always Dim Aura.

11. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Our main interest and goal is to spread our word across to those who 
still didn't hear or heard our music. We are sure that people everywhere 
are hungry for new music, and this is where we come in. We are not 
inventing the wheel all over again, but those who want pure black metal
- will get that when listening to Dim Aura.

12. What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on
your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Everything from everywhere, From Darkthrone and Satyricon to Joy 
Division and The Exploited, from Motorhead and venom to Sisters of Mercy 
and Beethoven. Also from the Black Metal scene, where you can find 
influences from Horna, Carpathian Forest, Behexen and Sargeist.

13. How would you describe your views on Satanism and Occultism?
We are not a satanic band. We don't care about that rubish. cause that's 
all it is for all we care.
The occult on the other hand is something else all together, its 
something that I personally believe is beyond any human's grasp on 
reality and perspective on the bigger picture on this state of 
existence.

14. What are some of your non musical interests?
Vodka.
Music is our only true passion.

15. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or 
thoughts?

go see your local bands, buy merch, sell merch, support your music.
SUPPORT THE UNDERGROUND - SUPPORT DIM AURA.
 

Shadowdream/Um/WormHoleDeath Records/2014 CD Review


  Shadowdream  are  a  band  from  Serbia  that  started  out  as  ambient  black  metal  but  have  evolved  more  into  ambient  jazz  with  strong  black  metal  overtones  on  this  release  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Um"  which  was  released  by  WormHoleDeath  Records.

  Ambient  sounds  start  off  the  album  and  they  bring  a  haunting  feeling  to  the  recording  along  wit h programmed  drum  beats  and  on  the  following  track  spoken  word  parts  become  a  part  of  the  music  along  with  female  vocals  and  cries  and  the  recording  also  starts  utilizing  a  more  atmospheric  sound.

  Each  track  brings  a  very  different  sound  to  the  album  and  the  jazz  influence  really  starts  to  show  up  on  some  of  the  later  tracks,  as  the  album  progresses  one  of  the  songs  brings  in  tribal  beats  and  middle  eastern  style  folk  instruments  which  also  gives  the  album  a  more  new  age  feeling  and  the  songs  also  start  having  a  more  occult  and  esoteric  atmosphere  to  them  as  time  goes  on  by  and  when  the  album  gets  closer  to  the  end  you  can  also  hear  a  small  amount  of  chanting  and  grim  black  metal  vocals  in  one  of  the  songs.

  Shadowrealm  create  a  very  interesting  sounding  dark  ambient  album  with  this  recording  and  while  the  black  metal  sounds  of   the  earlier  release's  are  absent  from  from  this  album,  the  music  is  still  very  dark,  haunting  and  evil  sounding  along  with  a  dark  sounding  production  and  song  themes  that  cover  schizophrenia,  supernatural  and  dying  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  recording  from  Shadowdream,  and  while  some  of  the  more  close  minded  black  metal  fans  might  not  enjoy  this  album,  i  see  this  recording  appealing  however  to  fans  of  dark  and  black  ambient.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Theological  Agnosia"  "Pavor  Nocturnus  -  Death  to  Me"  and  "Ghost  Sickness  -  End  Of  Life".  8  out  of  10.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Old Corpse Road Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

Although the line-up hasn't changed permanently we have been touring with a new drummer – Box Head, who has been taking on drum duties whilst out long term drummer recovered from tendonitis which heavily affected his ability to drum.

In addition to this, our long term guitarist had to step aside whilst recovering from a hearing problem caused by prolonged exposure to loud music! We are pleased to confirm that both The Dreamer and The Revenant are now actively playing and rehearsing with the band again leading to some 3 guitarist line ups at gigs, as The Seer has remained in the line-up.

We have been diligently recording a new album, and now we are back to full strength it is progressing well. Artwork and lyrics are complete so we are edging closer to a release. At the same time we recorded a single song "The Sockburn Worm" which will be released on Three Swords Records as a limited edition 7" and will act as an interim release before the album.

2.Recently you where a part of a split, how would you describe the musical sound that you have used on the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

We took this opportunity to create a more raw and intense song, almost abandoning atmosphere for pure black metal. The time constraints of a 7" record meant we couldn't follow every path we wanted and kept us focused on a short song (for us). We like to exploit all atmospheres and aspects of a song when we are writing, especially if there is a complex lyrical aspect. This leads to our long journey like songs, however in this case we approached the song from a minimalist point of view.

3.The lyrics cover British Mythology and Folklore, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

Folklore is something that is quite timeless and is rooted in people and society. The connection between man and nature is very interesting and drives our passion for it. We all have a love of the outdoors, and where nature and man interact great folklore has been created, whether it be fantastic beings or simply the aura of places. Britain has a long and mixed history, but throughout all the different era's folklore has remained a constant so anyone can find a way to connect with it. Simply sitting in an ancient abbey or an oak forest will summon the feeling of awe that is apparent in all great folk stories and within our music. You can connect with folklore in a different way than you can with a lot of stories due to the real locations and atmospheres combined with a hidden magic.

4.The band is from the United Kingdom and while there has been more black metal band from there in the last few years, the country is still not as well known as other countries, do you feel that the black metal scene from your country is very underrated?

We would agree the UK scene is underrated and a lot of the bands here struggle to hit the European and international market for black metal. The UK has a unique approach to black metal, it’s very hard to pinpoint the aspect that makes something uniquely British but it is definitely there. In some ways our lack of a cohesive approach may act negatively (if you compare the concept of Norwegian Black Metal, the Gothenburg sound etc.). But that’s is what makes the eclectic UK mix so good.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We have played many fantastic gigs over the years, it’s really hard to pinpoint exact ones. We tend to just love playing so once we are onstage we are at our best. We write all our music in a live environment in our practice room, this gives us the chance to make sure all our songs can be played live. The end result is that we try to create an enthralling live showing with many atmospheres from brutal to gothic to medieval. The bands main goal live is to capture the beauty and brutality of our music, and captivate the audience with the stories we tell.


6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Yes, we have a few shows coming up and also are working with our booking agent regarding a UK tour once our album is released. There’s also talk of us returning to Ireland and also hitting mainland Europe for the first time, namely Finland and Germany, but nothing yet is set in stone. See below a list of our confirmed dates:

Sat 26th April – Fell Foot Wood, Ulverston
Sat 17th May – The Blyth and Tyne, Blyth
Sun 18th  May – South Sea Live, Sheffield
Mon 19th May – The Snooty Fox, Wakefield
Sat 24th May – TBC
Sun 25th May – The Green Door Store, Brighton
Sat 31st May – The Fox & Newt, Leeds
Sat 19th July – Basement, Bridlington
Sat 4th October – Fell Foot Wood, Ulverston
Fri 28th November – The Turks Head, Darlington
Sat 17th January – The Snooty Fox, Wakefield

7.The split was released on Three Swords Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this record label?

Up until we were approached about the vinyl we knew very little about the label. The owner Dean is interested in a wide range of alternative music and I believe the label was initially set up mainly to deal with the hardcore scene.

Dean (a different Dean!) from The Infernal Sea was already in contact with TSR about doing a black metal split vinyl and they needed a band for the other side. We’d only recently played with The Infernal Sea and The Bearer (Guitar/Vocals) had been speaking to Dean about vinyl releases so it seemed we were the natural choice of band to ask.

Three Swords Records is only a very small label and this is only the second release for them so there’s not much more to tell, but I think we can see great things from the label in the future, in terms of underground releases.

8.Over the years the band has done splits with the Meads of Asphodel and The Infernal Sea, what are your thoughts on the other bands that have participated on those recordings?

Most of our band grew up listening to the Meads of Asphodel so to be asked to record a split with them was a dream come true. We are huge fans of the Meads and are proud to call them friends.

We played with The Infernal Sea in May 2013 whilst touring our last album. We were absolutely blown away by their live performance. They were very powerful, very talented and basically very grim. There’s nothing not to like.


9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and pagan metal?
We seem to have had a positive reaction to our music, which is fantastic and quite humbling. Judging things on an international scale is much harder as we are only just reaching beyond the shores of the UK however things have been positive so far.  We sometimes come across negative press when we are compared to Cradle of Filth, we don't deny the inspiration we have taken from them; those people should maybe get over it and enjoy what we do for what it is!

10.When can we expect another full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

The new album is well into the recording phase now, with drums, bass and guitars almost complete, so hopefully later this year will see the release. Musically the new album is different from our past efforts whilst still retaining the classic elements of  Old Corpse Road. the best description I can give thus far is that the album is a reaction to the dark gothic atmosphere of Witching Hour. That is not to say this is a soft album, just that its atmosphere is very different, maybe more akin to our demo...

11.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

The obvious choices for us would be  early Cradle of Filth, Bal-Sagoth, Emperor, Abigor and Bathory. We’ve also taken great inspiration from ambient acts such as Arcana and Rasion D’Etre as well as the early UK doom scene e.g. My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost. In addition to this film scores, classical and world music all play a part.

The band as a whole has a very eclectic mix of tastes and most of us are listening to the same albums we have been listening to for the past 10 to 30 years! We all keep up to date with modern  metal though. At the moment I am listening to Loits whilst writing this interview!

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
My personal interests are mountain biking and walking, as well as web design and graphics. The band as a whole has a lot of interest that are separate to the band but help support what we do. These interests range from repairing and fixing musical instruments and amps to marketing and graphic design onto music production and audio engineering. We are all heavily into gaming as well, be it Xbox or PC.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the interesting questions. Further information on the band can be found at www.oldcorpseroad.co.uk. A big thanks to all the promoters, reviewers and especially the fans for supporting the band and buying our releases. Running a band is an expensive business and without this support the band simply could not keep running!
(The Dreamer)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Countess/Ancient Lies And Battle Cries/Barbarian Wrath/2014 CD Review


  Countess  are  a  band  from  the  Netherlands  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  old  school  and  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  with  a  strong  elements  of  traditional  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Ancient  Lies  And  Battle  Cries"  which  was  released  by  Barbarian  Wrath.

  Epic  sounding  keyboards  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  grim  black  metal  vocals  and  after  a  couple  of  minutes  the  music  starts  getting  more  heavy  and  old  school  sounding  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  and  the  music  sticks  mostly  to  a  mid  paced  and  more  up  beat  direction  an d the music  sticks  to  an  early  90's  direction  from  beginning  to  end.  

  After  awhile  the  band   brings  in  a  heavy  Greek  influence  along  with  elements of  thrash  and  heavy  metal  as  well  as  adding  a  great  amount  of  melody  into  the  music  along  with  some  powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  and  the  keyboards  also  get  more  diverse  in  sound  as  time  goes  on  by  and  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  they  do  speed  up  a  bit  and  add  in  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  and  the  keyboards  that  are  utilized  on  this  album  go  back  to  the  early  beginnings  of  second  wave  black  metal  and  have  none  of  the  modern  or  symphonic  sounds  that  where  introduced  in  the  later  90's  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  a  small  amount  of  classical  guitars  are  added onto  the  last  track.


  Countess  show  a  great  amount  of  change  from  the  last  time  I  heard  an  album  form  them  with  the  music  being  a  step  away  from  the  raw  guitars  and  production  of  their  early  90's  releases  and  the  band  these  these  days  has  a  more  up  beat  sound  with  a  lot  of  traditional  metal  elements being mixed  in  with  their  black  metal  sound,  the  production  sounds  very  old  school  and  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Occultism,  Anti  Christian,  Ancient  History and  Heavy  Metal  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Countess  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black/heavy  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Battle  Sky"  "Beneath  the  Eye  Of  Wisdom"  "Pray  For  the  Cult"  and  :The  Last  Temple".  8  out  of  10.