I got into some of their later albums when I was younger and then forgot about them as I got out for metal a bit for a while. As I crawled back to the genre (and it's spawn off sub-genres) my interest was peaked in band's I'd only heard bits and pieces of...unfortunately the list of music to look into - both of metal variety and other - was far superior to the constrants of my time. Eventually have doing some reading on a band I'd gotten into (Anathema) I figured I should finally come back and give these guys a shout. This album isn't what I liked about the band's sound. I can see maybe why fans would be into it, but personally it sounds too droning to be a good doom album for me. That might sound like a hypocritical statement, but I think it just doesn't have enough versatility on it that would seem to come with later records. There are some interesting ideas laid down here though.
I have been listening to this album almost continuously for a week now. It is absolutely addictive. I love Opeth, Agalloch and Isis, and this album measures well alongside these acts. Although slower, more measured and doom oriented, the songs are nevertheless epic, with crunching riffs that are surprisingly catchy. Death metal grunts are used occasionally complementing the low-pitched clean vocals. Violins and pianos provide melodious soundscapes, sometimes in the absence of the distorted guitars (Sear Me MCMXCIII and Black God) but usually as a means to add layers to the simple yet varied riffs that provide the backbone for the album. This is an instantly appealing album to anyone with a shred of interest in the doom metal genre - and what is more it submits to repeated replays without getting old. Highly recommended.