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metal rules swag

June 2005
Released: 2005, This Dark Reign Recordings
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

While the packaging hearkens back to the vintage era of Black Metal, the music itself is nothing of the sort. These guys are more likely to summon Tipton/Downing than Beelzebub. The twin guitar noodling is pleasant, and unexpected. The thunderous old school Thrash chugging is admirable as well. The production is clearly underground, but in this instance, it only adds to the record’s atmosphere. It's loud enough--what more do you want? It sounds like what you imagined European Thrash/Death would sound like in the 80’s, before you actually heard any of it.

It’s fast, precise, and yet barbaric. Bands like Kreator are clearly an influence—but then the harmonies kick in, and I become instantly reminded of Sacrilege (Swe.). “The Vision Of Dream,” despite its bongwater outro, recalls “Fettered In Shackles Of Light” quite strongly, but not in the obvious sense.

The vocals are reminiscent of yet another Swedish act: Throne Of Ahaz, when the growl is set on low. The band clearly draws from the same well as many Gothenburg acts—vintage NWOBHM, with a solid dose of German Thrash for dichotomy. The leads are fascinatingly melodic, and rather unexpected. Again, the packaging is misleading. This drips with ridiculous amounts of potential. The band’s sheer enthusiasm for the genre is infectious. (They even included their demo as bonus tracks!)

Fans of recent underground discoveries like Oathian and Plastic Earth should give this a go—it’s played well, written well, and sounds fantastic. If thrashy Blackened Melodic Death with amazing guitarwork is your poison of preference, by all means, track this down. Really, it’s the rare obscure nugget such as this that keeps the kids shopping at the import shops. Recommended!

NOTE/UPDATE: As this fantastic release finally reaches US shores, an even newer release, "Dreamslave," has been unleashed in Europe. A review of this LP shall follow shortly, when this reviewer has obtained the disc...
Track Listing

1. Wikka (instrumental)
2. The Vision Of Dream
3. The Black Wandering Of Death (Vision 1)
4. The Black Wandering Of Death (Vision 2)
5. Master Of Everything (Dream Version)
6. The Ancient Track
7. Doomed...
8. Leather Rebel (Judas Priest cover)
9. ...An Eternity


Alexander Afonchenko - Bass/vox
Andrey Tselobenok - Guitars
Oleg Maslakov - Guitars
Yurchenko Yuri - Drums

Other reviews

» Wikka
by Gabriel C. Zolman

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