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Midvinter: At The Sight of the Apocalypse Dragon

Another Swedish black metal release arrives on American shores to do damage to the national psyche. Actually, in terms of sheer evil hatred for humanity, you could get a lot worse than Midvinter. This album reminded me of a blacker version of Anathema's "Eternity" album, from the somber spaciness of the riffs to the astronomical photo on the front cover (there is a fancy pentagram superimposed over it all, of course).

This is epic black metal of the highest caliber. Midvinter are quite adept at extended song structures, the eight songs on ...Apocalypse Dragon running well over sixty minutes with a veritable catalog of riffs to be found on each track. If there's an area Midvinter could use improving, it's innovation- as good as this album is, there is a bit too much reliance on the standard blast beats and tremolo picking. This doesn't detract from the songs as much as one might expect, but it does mean the listener must give it a few more spins than should have been necessary before the monotony begins to wear off and the band's true brilliance can be recognized.

Personally, I think the future of black metal lies in the semi-gothic lyrical concepts that bands such as Midvinter and My Dying Bride are delving into. Midvinter are clearly at the cream of the crop where this style is concerned, making "At The Sight Of The Apocalypse Dragon" an intriguing slab of progressive black metal.

Added: January 1st 2004
Reviewer: SoT Archives
Hits: 2870
Language: english

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