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Yes, there is black metal besides Immortal and Marduk! From the US of A I recently got a very interesting record which tries to break the dominance of the two aforementioned reference bands. What you notice first are the extremely melodic guitar parts, which are something like a recurrent theme throughout all the songs. The vocals sound nearly death metal-y: evil but not that deep and still somewhat variable. The songs shine with very diverse riffing and even without (!) keyboards the death metal that blasts out of the speakers is catchy and at the same time heavy enough that you must simply love it. The tempo remains between mid and high, the song structure is like in the old BLACK times and the songwriting is creative and full of ideas. The drums and vocals could´ve been a bit louder and clearer here and there, the guitars, however, sound very sophisticated and overall the sound is powerful enough. In the press info you can find, “a hit in the face for the known Swedish sound”, I can only agree. This album by the Americans is not for the moshing new school black metal fetishists, but for everyone who likes the sound of the old days or just loves hard, melodic metal that doesn´t tears down everything in its path. I can recommend this cd whole-heartedly.
Markus Seibel, transl. Fabio Sgarlato
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