Bal-Sagoth The Chthnonic Chronicles

Bal-Sagoth The Chthnonic Chronicles
Every fantasy/sci-fi fan’s ultimate metal band has taken its physical form in Bal-Sagoth, the "symphonic Britannic barbarian battle metal” outfit named for H.P. Lovecraft’s kingdom. Since their 1995 debut, A Black Moon Broods Over Lemuria, these over the top storytellers have been putting riffs to elaborate fantasy worlds in a style all their own. Lengthy and descriptive song titles point to the events occurring in each chapter while a number of spoken voiceovers narrate various scenes of triumph, wonder and tragedy, dictating the body of the story quite adeptly. Slightly heavier than their previous few efforts, the album plays out much like a book would, taking the listener on a detailed mythical journey through various sonic constructions meant to convey all the actions, emotions and subtle nuances of their saga in a way that words cannot. Monstrous symphonic moments and vociferous melodies moving between the lines of Dissection and Emperor use atmospheric keyboards to give the music an epic feel, and while these bombastic instances give it a tasteful amount of cheese, it is never taken far enough to warrant being mocked. All the instruments are executed flawlessly while all the songs are constituted by a great deal of imagination and written well enough that times seems to fly despite the fairly lengthy nature of the tracks. It’s creative, entertaining, enthralling, and easily one of this year’s best. (Candlelight)