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Principality of Hell: Fire and Brimstone

Sometimes it's hard to think of the best term to describe something, especially when the thing in question is an old-school black metal album. Worse still, the only word that comes to mind is "fun." Yes, I know—black metal isn't supposed to be fun. It's very serious music about witches and devils and hell and stuff. And yet, I'm sticking with my gut—this is a fun album.

I have my reasons for calling it fun. The first one is that the whole album is meant to revive the sound and style of classic albums by Venom, Bathory, Celtic Frost, and others like them. As I listened, I felt like I was going back in time and that this now-familiar sound was new and exciting all over again. Not only was it good to enjoy this style of metal for a while, it was fun to think about what seems like a simpler time. My second reason for calling this album fun is that was made by The Magus, a respected metal musician from Greece associated with Necromantia and Thou Art Lord. With him are El and J. Maelstrom, both members of Thou Art Lord (and other bands). The point is that this album is not simply a throwback, but a deliberate nod to a sound and style these guys love. It seems fair to assume that when veteran black metal musicians get together to create something old school, the result is likely to be a product of love, a fan's album, something one could describe as fun.

Finally, I call this album fun because it was like listening to a hybrid between Motorhead and Venom. See especially "We Ride at Night," easily the coolest track on this album and one that shows how much these guys are enjoying what they're doing. After listening to "We Ride at Night," be sure to check out "The Witches' Coven" and "Strike of the Beast"—a superb cover of the classic Exodus track.

I've gone on too much about my use of a single term in a single review, but you get the idea. This is a solid piece of old-school black metal. Give it a go.

Track Listing:
1. Fire and Brimstone
2. Codex Inferno
3. The Bleeding Nun
4. We Ride at Night
5. Leviathan
6. The Witches' Coven
7. Hellfire Legion
8. The 9th Seal
9. The Hand of the Hangman
10. Strike of the Beast (Exodus Cover)

Added: July 29th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1417
Language: english

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