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Myrddraal - Blood On The Mountain (7,5/10) - USA - 2001

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Decius
Playing time: 52:49
Band homepage: Myrddraal

Tracklist:

  1. Intro./Beyond Redemption
  2. Dumai's Wells
  3. Daughter Of The Night
  4. Surrounded By Unlight
  5. What Once Was
  6. Under The Banner
  7. Blood On The Mountain
Myrddraal - Blood On The Mountain
Much to the similarity of stumbling upon an open grave in the depths of a black and burnt grove, Australia's MYRDDRAAL have taken more of an old style approach to their brand of black 'total fucking grimness' (hehe, stole that from their website). However, the manner in which they do so is very clear and resonant. But careful, don't be fooled into thinking this is something out of Abyss or Fredman. Despite the great audibility of this release, there is nothing polished about it.

The opening track and introduction may lure newcomers to this depth (myself, relatively) into a false assumption that the beautiful and serene acoustic text will lead to something a bit more melodic in nature. At times, yes, but for the most part MYRDDRAAL apply their talent for writing the great acoustic passages that adorn "Blood On The Mountain", to directly contrast the horrid sounds resonating from their amps. Of course, "horrid" in this Black-subgenre can only add character to a band's musical approach; as holds true for a bit of off-timing, and rough musicianship which you'll hear a few samplings of as well.

Yet, it's important to note that MYRDDRAAL write music, songs, and not the simple noise I have found to be so intentionally common among other acts in this field. Don't let the repetition during the opening moments of the first track, "Beyond Redemption" set you astray. There is much variety to be found between the eight tracks here, and MYRDDRAAL do a great job of breaking up the pace. "Daughter Of The Night" for instance provides the album's dimly lit haunting, while instrumental, "What Once Was" affords a breath during the second half of the album.

I have no real issues with this one, aside from the fact that the vocals are slightly fogged behind the rest of the band, and the bass drum can come across as quite flat when not accompanied by it's counterparts. Two complaints that, after having gone through the album a number of times already, don't really rot my overall opinion of "Blood On The Mountain".

With this generously laden fifty-three minute debut, I'm sure MYRDDRAAL will easily find a home among many traditional Black Metal enthusiast's collections.

Carl Wood



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