Dark Fortress - Spectres From The Old World review



Reviewer:
N/A

133 users:
8.38
Band: Dark Fortress
Album: Spectres From The Old World
Release date: February 2020


01. Nascence (Intro)
02. Coalescence
03. The Spider In The Web
04. Spectres From The Old World
05. Pali Aike
06. Pazuzu
07. Isa
08. Pulling At Threads
09. In Deepest Time
10. Penrose Procession (Interlude)
11. Swan Song
12. Nox Irae


At first I thought Dark Fortress wouldn't be such a likely candidate for our highest rated album of 2020, a position in which it has since been dethroned. But the more I think about it, it kinda makes sense.

Dark Fortress make very digestible black metal, which isn't to say that they are bad or in any way beneath "trve" underground bands. Just a skim through their recent albums should give you an idea of how expensive their production is, so I hope that with such a big budget, they have some big revenues as well. It's always nice to put a bit of our "fucking sellouts" attitudes aside and be glad that there may be some people who might actually afford a living just off of making metal music. Dark Fortress is a band of relative popularity, one that always feels around but I have never seen it really talked about. It's as if everyone likes Ylem, but no one really brings it up. So with that in mind, it was a surprise for me to see one day that Spectres From The Old World was our highest rated album for this year. Had that not happened, I probably would have just listened to it and then proceeded to the next thing on the list. But credit where credit is due, time to dig a bit deeper.

I think the biggest mistake Dark Fortress have made until now is overstretching their albums. Their previous two albums were both over 70 minutes, and while theoretically I prefer both of them over both this and any other Dark Fortress album, their length is a pretty deciding factor in my decision not to revisit them in full. Spectres From The Old World isn't really like Eidolon's 50 minutes, but being slightly less than 60 is certainly an improvement. Dark Fortress make sure that, despite the runtime, it is still filled with worthwhile material. There isn't really a point in the entire album that makes me thing that it drags on for too long or that the songwriting isn't inspired. Dark Fortress are clearly very competent songwriters and musicians. Even more than competent, since I didn't expect to enjoy this one as much as I did.

I already mentioned the production, but the melodic and somewhat progressive songwriting, one that clearly picks up where Venereal Dawn left off, makes this album so easy to like. I am more likely to be in mood to listen to this after a listening to some Insomnium than after some Bekëth Nexëhmü because this album is clearly more focused on the melodies than on black metal, which is something that one should asses about their expectation before listening to this, because there is a lot to appreciate about this, and it being easily likable should not downplay it as being simple or appealing to the lowest common denominator. A lot of why it is likable doesn't have as much to do with the easy to process production and the lack of challenging aspects in the music, but it has to do with just how great the melodies are and how in control they seem of both the lightly dark ambiance of the record (a lot of it courtesy of the new keyboard player), and how the songs use progressive leanings to constantly drive the songs forward. You can really tell that some of the members are or were part of Alkaloid, Triptykon or Hannes Grossmann. There is a lot to praise performance-wise too, like a lot of guitar solos that don't feel cheesy, or the harsh but comprehensible vocals, the cleans being used quite tastefully, and also fairly interesting drumming as well.

Probably still not my pick for what should be the highest rated album of this year, but for the time that it took that spot, I can't say that it didn't deserve some of the spotlight. If this doesn't bring Dark Fortress in the higher echelons of accessible metal, I don't know what will?


 



Written on 26.03.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 5   Visited by: 90 users
26.03.2020 - 14:09
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I love its its more melodies as old korps paint style bm. I like this band, best album maybe bm comback album otherwise i dunno here. Its good but i agree its a bit long.

Hellas nailed bm this year
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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26.03.2020 - 15:59
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Btw i love bands music, but this is their best album title
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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26.03.2020 - 21:13
musclassia
I'll have to give this another listen at some point, because first impressions left me a bit bewildered why it was so popular
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26.03.2020 - 23:04
s_t_s
Written by musclassia on 26.03.2020 at 21:13

I'll have to give this another listen at some point, because first impressions left me a bit bewildered why it was so popular


While YLEM is still my all time favourite, this albums requires second listening and more to be fully appreciated. Like good wine I guess, though I'm a beer man! :p
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26.03.2020 - 23:05
nikarg
Mod
Written by musclassia on 26.03.2020 at 21:13

I'll have to give this another listen at some point, because first impressions left me a bit bewildered why it was so popular

You are not alone. Apart from "Isa", I didn't find another song that sounded special.
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