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Limbonic Art: Phantasmagoria

Like an icy cold blast of wind off the North Sea, longtime Norwegian black metal outfit Limbonic Art have at last returned with the follow up to 2007's highly acclaimed comeback album Legacy of Evil. Formed back in the early 90's by two guys known as Daemon & Morfeus, Limbonic Art released a handful of albums before the duo eventually disbanded in 2003. After a few years away from the scene they eventually picked things up where they left off in 2006, however their reunion turned out to be a short lived one as this new disc Phantasmagoria finds Daemon (Vidar Jensen) as the sole remaining member of the band.

Phantasmagoria is a raging, black metal behemoth of epic proportions right from the onset as the brief, eerie sounding keyboard atmospherics of "Prologue" segue immediately into the seething, full on assault of the title track. Propelled with an unrelenting amount of blast beats, a multitude of vicious guitar riffs and the tortured howls and screams of Daemon amid the subtle symphonic undertones, this is nothing short of pure black metal bliss. The magic has only just begun though as the listener is held transfixed for roughly the next hour or so. The unyielding onslaught is completely overwhelming and somewhat exhausting as Daemon never really gives you any respite from his malevolent rage. Many of the tracks are fleshed out with liberal sprinklings of funeral style keyboard arrangements that help add a slightly different dimension to the songs, but for the most part the majority of Phantasmagoria feels like a continuous, bludgeoning hammer to the cranium. The early one-two combination of "Crypt of Bereavement" and the absolutely ferocious riffs displayed throughout "Curse of The Necromancer" are just downright lethal. The only time the momentum wanes a bit is on the plodding "Dark Winds" otherwise I have to say that overall this is a pretty impressive piece of work from start to finish. The lyrics and themes which deal with supernatural forces, the paranormal and necromancy are as potent as the music, not to mention the production is top notch as well.

Without a doubt the standout tracks on Phantasmagoria are the aforementioned title track, "Curse of The Necromancer", "Flight of The Mind's Eye", "The Burning Vortex" and the final two compositions "A Black Sphere of Serenity" and "Astral Projection". How long Deamon is able to keep Limbonic Art afloat on his own is anyone's guess, but I don't think that will even be an issue if he's able to string together a couple more albums that run along the same lines of Phantasmagoria. Definitely recommended for fans of Emperor!

Track Listing
1) Prologue / Phantasmagoria
2) Crypt of Bereavement
3) Curse of the Necromancer
4) Portal to the Unknown
5) Dark Winds
6) A World in Pandemonium
7) Flight of the Minds Eye
8) Apocalyptic Manifestation
9) Prophetic Dreams
10) The Burning Vortex
11) A Black Sphere of Serenity
12) Astral Projection

Added: October 12th 2010
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Candlelight Records
Hits: 2884
Language: english

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