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1349
Demonoir
June 2010
Released: 2010, Indie Recordings
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Demonator

Hellish – that’s the word that comes to mind when trying to describe listening to the last 1349 studio foray. Having set a formidable precedent with three great efforts previously, REVELATIONS OF THE BLACK FLAME was the last thing the necro Norsemen should have put out; those who flocked to hear it were met not with the aggrandized firestorm that had made HELLFIRE so effective, but a pile of self-indulgent crap. Stripped of the majority of the band's erstwhile hallmarks, it was instead a comedy of errors, riddled with nerd-baiting soundscapes and what appeared to be half-written songs.



Thank the Hooved One then, that DEMONOIR is not only a marked departure from such insipid dross, but is probably the finest product to which the band has put their name. While stark ambient instrumentals still have a role to play, they're employed here as brief and high-impact segues bridging the gap between songs - all of which could be classed an album highlight. "Pandemonium War Bells" is a relentlessly pummeling black metal assault of the highest caliber, as memorable as it is bruising. "When I Was Flesh" and "Psalm 7:77" follow suit, their malevolent intent crackling through the buzzsaw production of Archaon's guitar like molten lava through slabs of dry ice.



The results are spectacular - not simply a return to form, but an album that redefines form altogether. Indeed, true Norwegian black metal is alive and well, its future assured in the very capable hands of 1349 - provided of course that they don't fly off the beaten track again. Few would have thought that statement could ring true a year ago.
Track Listing

1. "Tunnel of Set I"
2. "Atomic Chapel"
3. "Tunnel II"
4. "When I Was Flesh"
5. "Tunnel III"
6. "Psalm 7:77"
7. "Tunnel IV"
8. "Pandemonium War Bells"
9. "Tunnel V"
10. "The Devil of the Desert"
11. "Tunnel VI"
12. "Demonoir"
13. "Tunnel VII"

Lineup

Ravn – vocals
Archaon – guitar
Seidemann – bass
Frost – drums


Next review: » 1349 - Revelations of the Black Flame
Previous review: » 1319 - Demo





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