Old Man’s Child

Old Man’s Child

Revelation 666-The Curse of Damnation

Century Media

Gorgoroth

Incipit Satan

Nuclear Blast

Usurper

Visions From the Gods-1994 Demo & Rare, Live and Unreleased Material

Necropolis Records

Old Man’s Child have been around for a couple of years, now. I first heard of Old Man’s Child back in 1996 with Born of the Flickering . I couldn’t stand that album, with layers upon layers of keyboard atmosphere and chanting. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I popped Revelation 666 into my CD player and my ears exploded. This masterpiece is beautifully balanced and melodic. With the help of Peter Tagtgren (Hypocrisy/the Abyss/engineer extraordinaire) behind the knobs in the studio, Old Man’s Child have a very viable product worthy of Album of the Year for Best Black Metal Artist. I haven’t heard this much musicianship on a Black Metal release since Dissection’s Storm of the Light’s Bane . With Dimmu Borgir drummer, Kenneth Akesson, laying down the drum tracks for this album, Revelation 666 is a pulverizing array of demonic induced mayhem. The listener will have to look long and hard to find an album that measures up to the ferocity, intensity, and maddening melody of Revelation 666 .

While Old Man’s Child can be considered the new school of Black Metal, which is rooted in melodic overtones and gothic imagery. There is also a contrasting school of Black Metal, which is rooted in heavy metal riffage, satanic blasphemy, and downright creepiness. Allow me to introduce you to Gorgoroth. Incipit Satan is the third release for Gorgoroth. I’m not too familiar with any earlier work from Gorgoroth, but if Incipit Satan is any indication, I’m sure I would like it. Incipit Satan embodies the original evilness of Black Metal; Mayhem’s De Mysterious… and Emperor’s Wrath of the Tyrant come to mind first. Evilness equates to utter rawness. Just like an odd noise at night, this record might scare some people because he/she can’t figure out what they are hearing. The first track, “Incipit Satan,” erupts like a Concorde preparing for take off. But, rather, than turn the whole disc into a non-stop blast-beat fest, Gorgoroth raise the anxiety level with haunting mid-tempo stalkers like “An Excerpt of X,” “Will To Power,” and “Litani til Satan.” But, fear not, the chaos is replenished in “A World to Win” and “Ein Eim av blod og helvetesild.”

Then there’s Usurper from Chicago. Usurper are from a slightly different school of Black Metal. While retaining all the imagery (facepaint, spikes, and chains) of Black Metal, one can not notice the heavy influence of early metal pioneers like Celtic Frost, Destruction, and Sodom. Although they maintain a upbeat tempo throughout, Usurper aren’t afraid to open the floodgates, like on “Deep In the Forest.” Visions From the Gods… is an appropriately titled collection of Usurper’s work to date, paying homage to their influences while carefully avoiding the trap of plagiarism.

Century Media, 1453-A 14th St., Suite 324, Santa Monica, CA 90404; http://www.centurymedia.com

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