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Agathodaimon: Chapter III

This third album from the German black metal band (on Nuclear Blast) deliciously tracks the more melancholic, tender and neoclassical tendencies of goth with ripping, ice-cold guitars and the usual layers of shredded/growling vox alternating with clean, "Viking" style vocals. Eclecticism as a given isn't sufficient to raise a band above the chum-choked froth these days; some ineffable value -- maybe soul, hard to define except by example -- still distinguishes those who ache for effect and those whose ache we feel. Provisionally I would put Agathodaimon in the latter category. Spirit and conviction radiate throughout Chapter III, and even the trad BM moves of tracks like "Paradise Beyond" bring something new to the now familiar mix of keyboard lilt and blast beat mayhem -- witness "The Ending of our Yesterday," which smacks of Rotting Christ in its throttling, sweetly acid riffage, and reaches moments of both martial intensity and melodic nuance. And would you believe a black metal power ballad ("Sacred Divinity")? Chapter III is altogether excellent and something different from the pack.

Added: November 3rd 2001
Reviewer: Alex S. Johnson
Related Link: Nuclear Blast USA
Hits: 2885
Language: english

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