It is truly amazing how the musical taste and perception of a person can change. I could impressively witness this with "In The Flames Of Black Art", the debut of Polish Black Metallers DARZAMAT.
Originally released in 1996 via Faithless Productions, I had always viewed the album as not bad, but anything but special, so I didn't listen to it for about 5 years or so. Now it suddenly returns, completely remastered, with yet another masterpiece cover by g_r_a_a_l and a bonus track and as I listen to it, it almost appears as if I listened to completely different album than I had in my memory.
It's a kind of Black Metal, very symphonic, with both enchanting female vocals as well as a Black Metal croak and some clean male vox, but not getting generic, still maintaining a nicely own atmosphere that now, 6 years after its original release, manages to capture me. Just take the opener "In The Flames Of Black Art", with very opulent keyboards, more rhythmic guitars in the background and some croaks of Flauros. On the following "Legend?" we additionally get some clean male vocals and for the first time Kate's enchanting voice, together with some Black Metal eruptions, still combined with symphonic keyboards and also calmer interludes.
While these eruptions for themselves would not be anything that much noteworthy, these interludes as excellent contrast and in conjunction with Kate's voice give DARZAMAT their quite own atmosphere. An excellent example for this is the great duo of "The Storm" and "Seven Golden Fires", which highlight the compository class of the Polish trio.
The re-mastering has done "In The Flames Of Black Arts" a lot of good, while the bonus track, a somewhat technoid/industrial remix of "The Storm" was absolutely unnecessary, but well, that's what they made the skip track button for, heh. So DARZAMAT's debut definitely is a worthy addition to the collection, but have to be able to deal with harsh vocals and extensive keyboards. So you have been warned! (Online January 14, 2002)