DARK FORTRESS – Spectres From The Old World

March 7, 2020, a month ago

(Century Media)

Nick Balazs

Rating: 8.5

review black death dark fortress

DARK FORTRESS – Spectres From The Old World

Returning from the astral plane, these German black metallers are ready to transcend space and time with Spectres From The Old World. Dark Fortress have conjured a masterclass in melodic black metal and is destined for best of lists at the conclusion of the year.

Starting with an ominous intro, the Fortress opens up with proper track “Coalescence” as the Germans bathe in the cosmos and the grotesque spirits that lie within the stars and earth. The music takes turns going for the throat with pummeling rhythms and also letting mid-tempo madness create an unsettling atmosphere. The intelligent songwriting and use of sturdy melodies sets these guys apart from their contemporaries as it’s hard not to take notice of the vicious blaze of “The Spider In The Web”, the title track, or the manic, punk and thrash like rhythms of “Pazuzu”. Vocalist Morean sounds as ugly as ever as parts of “Pali Aike” sound like an incantation of sorts and the gloomy whisper in the middle part in “The Spider In The Web” is creepy. The cleans in “Isa” and the pulsating “Pulling At Threads” need getting used to, but they add a helpless feeling to the trudge of the clean strings that resemble a journey through a frozen wasteland.

While the production effort is clean and precise, the guitars and spine-shattering drums (Seraph is really underrated drummer) with the ghastly keyboards contains an unsettling backdrop and t it’s interesting to see some black and death metal bands leaning more towards themes dealing with unlocking the secrets to astronomy and the wonders of earth, space, and time. Spectres From The Old World is a force to be reckoned with and further adds on to their already stellar output.

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