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Stormnatt… a band that I have been aware of, since earlier this year. I never knew that Antimessiah was ever even a part of this band, initially. I had some hang-ups, in wanting to listen to this album. There are some ‘behind-the-scenes’ instances (made public, through an interview, earlier this year, via Antimessiah) that came to light; that once read, kind of put me off some from wanting to even listen to The Crimson Sacrament; as I was already feeling kind of odd about it, to begin with. As stated, quoting (in this interview)… “after some discrepancies”… not exactly sure what all that is, nor is it really any of my business; but at any rate it was the rest of Stormnatt’s decision to part ways with Antimessiah. And, the reason why it is so hard for me to come to terms with this… is that, if you are familiar with any of Antimessiah’s 4 projects, you know his masterful, precise, perfected guitar-riffing mastery. And so, it fathoms me how anyone could have this extremely talented, and very gifted musician in their band, and just let him go… truly fathoms the hell out of me. I just will not ever understand this. Because as I am listening to this album right now, for the first time ever, since it was released back in 2009… Antimessiah’s riffing on this album is truly some of the most beautiful that I have ever heard from him. I fucking mean that; masterful guitar-work, so Goddamn epic on this album. Fuck. However, that being said… while I’m honestly having a hard time coming to terms with this fact… ’cause at the same time I may feel this way (of not understanding what in the Goddamn hell Stormnatt was thinking, of letting him go); Antimessiah still has Totale Vernichtung, Vicarivs Filii Dei, Rostorchester, and Angelcunt… all of which I am most blissfully content with.
So, in starting off with the first track “Apparitional Echoes from the Void”, some sort of chanting permeates the atmosphere… leading into Mord’s vocals… vocals that aren’t necessarily bad; but passion, or something, seems to be severely lacking. What I mean is, while his singing style is not really unpleasant, it doesn’t seem to meld really well with any of the atmosphere; either both musically, or otherwise. The drummer, simply known as “P.”, is pretty Goddamn good! He hits with such force that, that force can be felt through to the listener. However, the immense highlight of this track is from none other than the riff-master himself… Antimessiah. If you already know his other music, you will already know what I mean by saying this. If not, well, just listen to this album. And, if you think otherwise afterwards, well, I just don’t know. But, Antimessiah has three solos that are such delightful cynosures that are showcased here so brilliantly; with the last one starting at 2:39. But, when that solo takes a more passionate turn at 3:52 to 4:26… just Goddamn! Melodically atmospheric doesn’t even begin to cover it, how all this sounds. Antimessiah… completely on a whole other level, on this one! Just even at the start, this album is starting to feel like classic 90s-era black metal.
The fourth track, “Soul Murder Ceremony”… immensely powerful as all hell! Almost with the first minute and a half an extremely, very atmospheric, sharp cutting guitar solo, right at the start! Epic. Purely epic. The riffs on this track just keeps on making me want to hit that repeat button. So powerful, so driving those riffs… Antimessiah, I swear I say so much about this man; but look… in all reality, this guy shreds the guitar like no one fucking else! I speak so extensively highly of him, I know; but it is well deserved. Mord’s singing is still the same, not bad… but, seriously, something is sorely lacking here. Drumming is on par. Absolutely perfect, P. not seeming to miss a single beat.
Razor-sharp, melodic guitar riffing for (almost) a solid two minutes at the very start, begins “Thanatheism”… the sixth track off the album. Wow… just fucking WOW! I mean, this time, the riffs are so sharp, it cuts right through, into you… almost painful; that direct, blistering cut. But, it is just so passionately entrancing. Everything else, I honestly hate to say, sounds like… well, really… basically just all sounds the same. Nothing diverting as of yet, other than Antimessiah’s exuberant, alluring riffs. And, we’re nearing the end of the album, at this point…
“Upon the Shores of Solitude Pt. III”, the last track on the album… a Goddamn, epic masterpiece… all of it. All of it! Antimessiah brings forth haunting riffs… leading into Mord’s vocals. I need to say something here, why… why doesn’t Mord sing like this throughout the rest of the entire album?! Why??? So much potential here, and he saves that passion for the very last song??? I don’t get it. Goddamn, this is so fucking, INSANE good! The way he forces those screams, that… passion… just fuck. Why not the rest of the album?! The Crimson Sacrament would be such a perfect album, if so. Goddamn, so moving, his voice is THAT fucking good on this song. And Antimessiah’s riffs, two parts in the song (not including that first, beginning solo, at the start)… but, this… I swear, I’m using the word “passionate” way too much here, I know… but, this… this song… just… on every Goddamn level of what true, epic black metal is. This… this song, makes the whole album. So worthy of many, many repeats, just this one song alone; before you take the disc out, and put it up. This whole, entire song, you can feel it all. The singing, the riffs, the drums, the bass… Literally. Every. Goddamn. Thing. “Upon the Shores of Solitude Pt. III” takes black metal to a whole other level of every single thing that you can think of that would belong in this sentence. I absolutely ADORE this song. This song literally breaks me, it’s beauty, so malignant. I’m sure I could keep on and on about this song; but all that would just be more repetitiveness, I’m sure. Man, this song breaks me so hard, the passion is just all over the place, all over in this song. This song is one of the best, most intense black metal songs that I have ever heard. Period.
I tell you, “Upon the Shores of Solitude Pt. III” will mess you up some, if you listen to it on repeat for a time. It will devastatingly crush you emotionally. Almost as if to completely suffocate. This album, I really want to give it a perfect score. But, honestly, I cannot. It is so, so close, though. But, again, going back to Mord’s singing… I was honestly taken aback, when that last track hit! I was not expecting to be pummeled so hard by every single thing in that song! Likewise, I only wish that Mord had executed that same, irate force with the rest of the album, leading up to it. Because, that last song just makes the whole album; minus the fact, Antimessiah’s commanding guitar mastery throughout. Bass (Notodden) is a solid, weighted effort all throughout; while P.’s drumming is adamantly direct, as well. If you are a fan of Antimessiah’s other projects, I highly recommend listening to this album. In my honest opinion, Antimessiah pretty much carries the majority of it; his riffing most prominent over all else… with the majorly huge exception to that last epic as hell track. And because of that, it gets the score that it does. It is not a perfect black metal album… but, so Goddamn close. If you’re an Antimessiah album collector completionist, you 100% need this album in your collection. How Antimessiah executes the intensified riffage throughout the entirety of this album is unlike anything you will probably ever hear on any of his other albums. You know it’s him upon onset; but all the while, vastly different from anything else you have ever heard, or will. I do very highly recommend The Crimson Sacrament, for both fans of Antimessiah, as well as if you’re into 90s style black metal. Because, that is pretty much what it is.
Release date: March 14th, 2009
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