For this album being Black Metal, it is considerably sludgier and somewhat more cacophonous than headlining same genre bands of today. These abrasive musical rants usually lead into small moments of brilliance. “Dead Heaven” features both stellar drum work and an actually audible and well composed bass line through the sludge. Another track, “Opposing Holiness” gives listeners a cute surprise with a ukulele break in the middle of the well balanced, entirely rhythm based composition. Interspersed through the album, there are tracks like “Celestial War Rape” and “Vatican Lust” which serve as both brief reprieves from the onslaught and moments to take in what really happened in the last track. These songs tend to be a little lighter in tone and tend to feature violins and choirs. All of this, the entire album, ends with the oddest of possible choices: a jazzy piano, violin, and drum piece called “Metropolis”. The final song builds from a soft jazzy bar sound and crescendos into a huge panic.
Despite all of the noise, murky notes, and insane drums, this album keeps you rapt, curious, and amused. There are, however, a few drawbacks to this album. With as well composed and balanced as the songs are, you hardly notice the vocalist has anything to say. Indeed, you hardly notice he’s there at all; the music keeps you so busy with its surprises and rampant clashing. The second downside is a distinct feeling that there is not much “black” about their music. Yes, they have the make up, but it feels like they are going for so much more than just black metal. They are creating a different sound entirely.
Overall, the album is definitely worth a listen, especially if listeners are not so sure that this genre is the one for them. However, if you are looking for a more hardcore sound, this is not for you.