The history of this band can be a little confusing. It seems there has been a ton of line-up changes since the first incarnation back in 1993. I did a little research and there have been 11 former members prior to the group as it exists today. Even the founding member Cernunnos committed suicide by hanging himself (geez what is it with these black metal bands?) I don't think any of the current foursome other than vocalist/guitarist Nornagest have been with the band more than a few years. Nornagest played guitar with the band since 95' but had to assume vocal duties when their singer Lord Sabathan (who had been with the group since 94') left the band. Anyway enough with the revolving circus of band members. On with the music. Well, it's black metal for sure. It's got all the right elements; blast beats, evil growling/screaming vocals, satanic lyrics, haunting gregorian chants and eerie keyboards for good measure. And lo and behold some good production! A lot of early black metal had this annoying habit of shitty production with no bottom end and thin guitars. Some "purists" tend to slam any band of this genre for actually sounding good! What morons. Who wants to sound like crap because they think it's cool? One interesting thing I noticed was the guitar solo's were very melodic and not chaotic at all. They had these... almost "beautiful" dark melodies that contrasted so well over the blackened riffs, that it made it that much more evil. Granted these guys have not re-invented the wheel here, but they have done it better than a lot of their peers. This is supreme metal blasphemy at it's finest!
- Craig Harvey