Review Summary: Ukranian black metallers finest moment with fifth release
Ukranian black metal, a phrase that brings a few different names to the forefront of ones mind, not least of all the god like group that is Drudkh
but also Hate Forest
and Nokturnal Mortum
but unfortunately not often enough are Khors
mentioned, which is sad considering the decent discography that the band has piled up. Latest of these is Wisdom of Centuries
and its another good success.
For a starters theres the vocals, provided by Helg ( Ulvegr
amongst other bands) which are very powerful in this album, sitting firmly at the front of the mix, the growl on the vocals perfectly accompanies the music from the band, all the lyrics are in Ukranian so there is no way to rate them. The instruments on this album are simplistic but effective, very rare do the guitars, drums or any instrument show off, but the songs that are created do not require them to, the riffs that are laid down are pounding and aggressive, but at the same time create an atmosphere that is not found on the most aggressive black metal albums, such as ones from Dark Funeral
. When solos do occur, such as on Black Forest's Flaming Eyes
they are short and simple, added more for the purpose of variation than any other idea.
Drumming and bass on the album take a more back seat approach, the drumming, like the guitar is more simple, double bass is a common feature, particualy on the fast paced song The Last Leaves
but there is no over complication on the other tracks, rather than this been an issue, it perfectly joins the music to help create the atmosphere that is essential to this album. The bass rarely rears its head, seeming content to be at the back, adding to the support that the drums create.
The overwhelming forte of this album however is to be found in the way the songs themselves are constructed, the songs flow and change as they progress, The Last Leaves
is a perfect example of this, the song going through different stages as it goes. It is this, along with the perfect blending of instrumentation that creates the atmosphere that the album channels to the listener. The songs vary, some like The Last Leaves
are the more aggressive side to the album, providing a force that is balanced by other tracks such as the title track itself, which provides a complete change of direction curtousy of the opening, which features a solo drum intro.
Not everything is perfect though, this album is much to short, clocking in at just over half an hour, the listener at the end is left feeling 'is that it???' especially when one looks at the back of the album and finds that, out of the eight tracks that are present, fully half of them are instrumentals. I for one, felt a little cheated at that point, whilst the intro and the outro ( Through the Clouds of the Past
) are beneficial to the album the tracks in the midddle could have been replaced with songs and the album would most likely have not suffered for it.
For anyone looking for a thoroughly enjoyable and grand underground black metal album, this should be the first point of call. Everything about it, save from the filler is black metal at its finest, and thanks to a well done production, it can be easily enjoyed.