CD: Supernal Music FERLY028 [2005]

Breath Of The Black Plague
Birth Of The Antichrist
Art Of The Dark Ages
Gothic Architecture
Malleus Maleficarum
Fate Of The Templars
Rise And Fall Of Empires
Formulas Written In Blood
Walpurgis Nacht

Respect is due. Respect shall be given. Say the words ‘Black / Extreme metal music’ and you’ll find me on the floor pissing myself laughing. If ever there was a musical genre that I just don’t ‘get’ its 1000mph guitars, drums and grunting dickheads…normally dressed in black with hair down to their assholes…singing (ha) about Beelzebub and shagging virgins on alters. Not for me. Not in a million years. So to find out that Dark Ages is a debut release by a member of Ukrainian metal act Hate Forest has thrown me slightly. No way. Impossible. It just CANNOT be. Yet the facts speak for themselves. Respect. Then I find out that Dark Ages doesn’t have an official website. Even more respect. Be mystical. Keep the punters guessing. Play it cool and they will come.

And they will flock to this release. They will flock because "Twilight of Europe" is a triumph of dark ambience and neo-classical music set over eleven tracks and charting the age of prophecy, plagues and alchemy from the Middle Ages onwards. The Dark Ages of man where the sword and church went hand in hand and the land was raped and pillaged all in the name of God. The age of burning heretics and drowning of witches thanks to ignorance and fear. The age of crumbling empires and depraved despots with the blood of millions on their hands. This musical sojourn through those happy heady days of death and sex are brought fully to life by this ultra creative artist. The melodies are divinely exquisite and infectious. No songs. No samples. The music not requiring those intrusive interventions. Instead he concentrates on building up the atmospheres utilising all manner of electronics and normal instruments in ever imaginative ways. The grand illusionist making you question everyt hing you hear and dragging you into his vision of the past. The sheer depth and range of these pieces almost overwhelms with an urgent poignancy. A pessimistic panorama of desolate music for a destitute period of history realised in the present.

"Twilight of Europe" has achieved all that the artist could have possibly hoped for. A quintessential release of outstanding emotive music that has defied all expectations and deserves a wider audience to his unquestionable talents. This release comes in a standard cd case with a nice booklet of ancient art depicting scenes that the music conveys. And all this from a metal head. Wonders will never cease.


[Supernal Music]

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