JUSTIN’S METAL REVIEWS W/C 25/01/10
DARK FORTRESS /YLEM
If you like your Black Metal, dark,
brooding, unyielding and full of crushing heaviness then this latest album from
This is the 2nd album to feature new vocalist Morean, who vocal delivery at times defies belief, so much so that you would swear that it had been pitch shifted, the title track starts of opus off, full of haunting melodies ride above the mêlée of daunting blackness of the guitar riffs and pounding of the drums while the lyrics tell the story of Ylem, the state that matter was in before the big bang and to which all matter will return at the end of everything, I told it was HEAVY, in all respects. The next track “As The World Keels Over” is just as full of darkness and the fantastic “Osiris” isn’t far behind. If you looking for something with a slower, more deliberate, broodier pace, then the track “The Valley” is the one to listen out for. If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional to blast your ears then look no further than “Satan Bled” or “Silence”. The track “Wraith” features a great vocal duet with guitarist V. Santura who’s cleaner style contrasts brilliantly with Morean’s.
This is yet another great album from Dark Fortress and I for one will be looking forward to seeing the band live in 2010, this is an essential album if you like Black Metal and has already had track featured on my shows for Pipeline and Hfm.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 74 mins + 12 DARK TRACKS
IHSAHN / AFTER
This is the 3rd solo album from former Emperor Vocalist and if you liked the first two then this will be on your shopping list already.
Ihsahn continues to push the
boundaries of Progressive Black Metal and draws from lots of different genre’s,
the one thing that does strike me listening to this particular album is use of
Sax throughout, very Jazz orientated but it works really well. To hear what I mean you only have to listen
to the haunting melodies of the 10 minute epic that is “Undercurrent”, it
starts off quite sedately before building into a monster of a track and the sax
playing on it is suitable stirring. The track “On The Shores” has a similar
length and feel, full of emotive lyrics and musical passages that we have come
to know and love from the guy. The title
track “After” and “
If you miss Emperor (and who doesn’t), then this CD will quench your thirst, at least we had the live reunion CD of last year and who knows if anything else will come of that, if not at least we have Ihsahn CD’s to look forward to. There is not a bad track on here and that’s why its album of the week, listen out for: “Austere” with a great Organ piece on it with a riff that sounds like it was borrowed from Pink Floyd.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 56 mins + 8 TRACK