Dark Fortress
Stab Wounds


4.5
superb

Review

by Adam Gola USER (41 Reviews)
December 10th, 2012 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Soundtrack To Your Suicide

Some wounds outlast eternity.

Ironically enough, it all starts with Dimmu Borgir - the mediocre, greedy commercial band scorned by black metal purists. A while ago, an album by a relatively unknown Greek band The Eternal Suffering got released into the Net masquerading as Dimmu's "Abrahadabra". Needless to say, the album showed surprising quality, and definitely surpassed any expectations anyone could have of a Dimmu album. When the ruse was exposed, the band got some well-deserved publicity, but the more important thing is that the final song of their album turned out to be a cover. Stylistically their original material was so similar to the covered song, that it was nigh impossible to discern any practical differences - only a stroke of luck led me to know that "Iconoclasm Omega" was a Dark Fortress song. And that's how I found "Stab Wounds". And all of my expectations were met and exceeded.

This fantastic effort seems unpopular here on Sputnik, probably because of it being the nexus of the band's brief DSBM phase. And most people don't like to be pushed into gloomy depression. But let me tell you, in the case of this album it's well worth it. It wraps you in a pleasantly cool cocoon of apathy as it leads you through realms of jadedness and self-loath conveyed by the vocalist's shrieks as well as through moderately used spoken word. Its atmosphere is practically that of gothic horror fantasy, it makes you feel like you were playing Diablo. And even more interestingly, listening to this album makes suicide actually seem like an attractive option worth considering.

The greatest hit on the album is definitely the stunning opener, the aforementioned "Iconoclasm Omega". This one is actually more of a typical Dark Fortress song, a well-written almost seven minutes of vicious riffs with some of the catchiest ones I've heard yet, especially the one immediately after the starting riff. Add an excerpt from an interview with Charles Manson and you get a song that can never go wrong. The title track is more representative of the album, containing both blistering aggression and contemplative sadness. "Stab Wounds" has many further highlights, with the tasteful piano solo in "Despise the Living", the whole song "A Midnight Poem" with its varied dynamics and bold suicidal overtones, the atmospheric riff of "Rest in Oblivion" and the Lifelover-like riffing in "Like a Somnambulist in Daylight's Fire". Other songs are either more groove oriented or short interludes, and though not mentioned above, none of them is bad or out of place.

The songs reinforce one another and their order on the album is greatly thought through - of the final three songs two are instrumental interludes, and the middle one a sludgy, droning piece. The mood is much livelier in the beginning of the album, and it is no stretch to say that it gradually devolves into drone, just as the final drops of blood make their way out of your life-loathing veins. The final song "Sleep" is just that - the final invitation to finally let go, riddled with not much more than ambient black metal guitar distortion noise.

"Stab Wounds" also sets itself apart from many of its contemporary albums by the fact that the band isn't afraid to play solos, and they do it quite tastefully and in many songs, which only enhances the artistic values of this album. Last but not least, the band included Katatonia's Endtime as the final track, and executed with a bit more black metal flavor than the original, it fits in surprisingly well.

The album is a staple release in melodic black metal and is also a very solid offering for DSBM fans. It doesn't get boring, works intensely on the listener's mood and is simply well played. It delivers all across the board. Listen to it.



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user ratings (21)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 9th 2012


7127 Comments


This sounds mildly interesting, and the Old Man's Child rec doesn't hurt either. Well written, pos'd.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 9th 2012


7127 Comments


This sounds mildly interesting, and the Old Man's Child rec doesn't hurt either. Well written, pos'd.

Edit; my bad double post.

XfingTheSullen
December 9th 2012


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I got freaking enamored with this album to be honest. 4,5 may be slightly too high, but on the other hand a 4 seems too low.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 9th 2012


7127 Comments


I'll give it a listen after work.

Acanthus
December 9th 2012


9545 Comments


This sounds mildly interesting

Seconded, giving this a try.


Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

CaptainDooRight
December 10th 2012


30334 Comments


jus herd two tracks off this and while it was somewhat decent the lack of variation between tracks quickly identifies this band as a one trick pony show which is not the type of music I'm interested in listening to.

XfingTheSullen
December 10th 2012


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Definitely not a one trick pony band, not by a mile. Black metal itself generally struggles with variety as a genre, but this band has always been one of those bands that don't have this problem imo.

FrozenVain
December 10th 2012


2482 Comments


Never heard of this band. I will check it out.
Good review, pos

YUJOS
December 10th 2012


954 Comments


^ Check them definetely man!

XfingTheSullen
December 11th 2012


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

huzzah, finally someone besides myself who agrees.

YUJOS
December 11th 2012


954 Comments


To tell you the truth Xfing, I have only heard their last 3 albums wich I found them really good. Def have to check their first ones some time.

XfingTheSullen
December 11th 2012


2822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I haven't heard Ylem yet, but Eidolon feels completely unsubstantial next to Stab Wounds.

YUJOS
December 12th 2012


954 Comments


Ok man. Will check.



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