I love how a band can improve with age, because so often it’s the opposite. That’s definitely not the case with the Swedes known as CRIMSON MOONLIGHT – a group on the verge of mastering this Black/Death hybrid style they’re peddling. While their earlier works (“Eternal Emperor EP” and before) borrowed too liberally from “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant”-era DIMMU BORGIR, their latest output “The Covenant Progress” and “Veil Of Remembrance” is a gigantic step forward in their quest to conquer all of civilization.
Aided by an endless source of aggression, “Veil Of Remembrance” – even from the outset of the opening number “Intimations Of Everlasting Constancy” – lets audiences know exactly what they’re getting. Without being verbose, CRIMSON MOONLIGHT are fast Black Metallers who incorporate Death at times. The multi-faceted approach, as you can ascertain from my glowing comments, bodes well. The instrumentation is absolutely relentless, and one should be able to decipher that these Swedes have been honing their skills. The vocals are great, too. The primary ones are of grim, Black variety, but are supported by Death growls and miscellaneous screams. If one is hunting for the finest vocal work, pause during “Painful Mind Contradiction” and “The Echoes Of Thought” and listen in. Though this ever-changing line-up claims that EXTOL hasn’t influenced them whatsoever, I can’t help but liken “The Cold Grip Of Terror” to the Norwegians, circa “Burial.” And, for what it’s worth, this mob hasn’t amputated DIMMU BORGIR from the body of their sound either. Toting forty-five minutes of hard-hitting Black Metal, overall, will most assuredly help put CRIMSON MOONLIGHT on the lips and in the CD players of eager Metalheads.
I’m aware that the production could use some tinkering (a fuzzy production is more fun to cuddle with than to listen to), and I’m also aware that “Veil Of Remembrance” isn’t going to level anyone with its mind-altering originality. Still, the band possesses numerous laudable traits, and pleasantly surprises me with each release. I just pray that’s the case with each subsequent effort. Black Metal with a positive message doesn’t have to be sterile, lifeless, devoid of aggression, or impossible to find. CRIMSON MOONLIGHT are here to remedy that situation. Enjoy. (Online February 4, 2006)