This album is very friggin cool. The concept is Christ's mortality and how he is not a demigod but merely a man. Not so much anti Christian as the Devil's advocate for reasons Christianity is stupid. It reflects on the lies and fabrications of the Church. The band is Maximus, Metatron, Urakbarameel, J.D.Tait and Deorth on this album. The music is generally close to black metal but is almost always mixed with other stuff. There is a narrator who is not the vocalist which I think is cool. There are many experimental sections drawing from Eastern music and also incorporating lots of keyboards.
The music is generally very melodic and sometimes quite catchy. It also has a very different tone than most metal. Example being God of Rome which uses a major key for the most part and throws in some of the most catchy rock guitar riffs ever. Maybe the idea is to get a medieval sound or maybe to just play what they want to play. I really can't tell. For a band that seems so set on their image as to wear armor and maintain a fairly complex concept, it seems strange they are so willing to stray from the path of traditional metal. In all honesty, when I first saw pictures of these guys and saw the song titles, I couldn't believe they weren't a raw black metal act or at least melodic black metal. I am impressed with their willingness to stray from the path of traditional genre lines.
Each song is interesting and some better than others. 80 Grains of Sand, Utopia and A Healer Made God are probably my favorites off this album. Each of these is mostly metal as opposed to the other way around which some songs are. It's not that this band is bad at not metal, they are just very good at making interesting metal. It's not particularly technical but very nice to listen to from a metalheads perspective. Everyone should also hear the final real track with a name too long for me to bother typing because it has some of the coolest samples ever. Here is a sample or the samples... "In the event of Armageddon - Confess. Make your way calmly to the nearest place of worship. Your God awaits you" and the repetition of "God is with you. God is fucking with you. God is fucking with you." Very cool in my opinion, especially because the sounds of Armageddon accompany these sounds. The idea of the track according to the band is to send the listener on a mind fuck. They do a very good job. The techno drums and organs make this a very cool song as well.
Sometimes on thie album, the non metal sections are simply not very good. Same with the Metal section but more frequently with the non metal. They are a bit inconsistent and sometimes, the riffs get boring. Not because of repetition but more because they are boring riffs. I would recommend you hear this anyway simply because it is good.Even if you are Christian or dislike bands that have anti Christian sentiments, this album is worth hearing because those sentiments go beyond the simple kill the christians ideas and are more an explanation of why they don't like religion.
Sorry for the short review but I can find very little to say about this album despite all the places it goes. There are no bands I can really compare to them, at least accurately. Keep an open mind when listening.
It is a very good album. I'd just like to point out that in the tracklist, numbers 7 and 8 are wrong. As in, number 7 is actually A Healer Made God and number 8 is actually Sons of Anak Rise. For some reason there is a misprint in the tracklist on the back of the case, putting them the other way around.
My favourite tracks are probably 80 Grains of Sand, God is Rome (a really cool, short, very punky metal song) and A Healer Made God. Blood Blasted Holy War is good, and quite different due to a guest appearance from a member of Sigh (whose name escapes me). Guts For Sale is a very nicely done, completely unexpected acoustic track, and also one of the better ones on the album.
As for artists to compare them to, try Hawkwind. They have a lot of influence from Hawkwind's space-rock sound in them, not to mention they're now working with Huw Lloyd-Langton (Hawkwind's bassist, I think) as part of the group, and Utopia is a Hawkwind cover.
NB: I had to put this in a separate comment, because apparently my comment was too long.
Guts For Sale I find hilarious. The acoustic song with that name is classic. I'll fix the track list, thanks for the correction.
I'm getting a lot more attention in this review than I expected. In fact, I only expected 'Tender to comment on how he also likes them and maybe PAAA to drop by and leave some obscure unknown fact about their black metal roots.This Message Edited On 05.15.05
If you want to buy it (which would be nice, since it's released on an independent label which also runs a very good online mail order store, but you know, no pressure) it should be available for £9.99 at www.supernalmusic.com. Postage is free within the UK, but not outside it, though I don't know how much for.
I'm also saving money to order a whole load of CDs at the moment. Don't know what I'm ordering yet, but I'm compiling a list of possible ones. Alphabetically, too. I'm halfway through A and there's a list of 16 already.