Rating:
9.4
In The Woods... - Heart Of The Ages
1995


01. Yearning The Seeds Of A New Dimension
02. Heart Of The Ages
03. ...In The Woods
    1 - Prologue
    2 - Moments Of...
    3 - Epilogue
04. Mourning The Death Of Aase
05. Wotan's Return
06. Pigeon
07. The Divinity Of Wisdom


How bad can an album be, judging by the fact that it starts with "Yearning Seeds of a New Dimension" and ends with "Divinity of Wisdom"? Even if it only contained these two songs it would be undoubtedly classic. "Heart of the Ages" is one of Norway's diamonds, although it doesn't completely belong to the black metal genre. It combines elements of black, doom and avant-garde metal, folk, electronic and classical music, becoming one magnificent piece of art that can satisfy every taste.

The band follows the almost usual concept of anthroposophy and its connection with nature, such as many of their black metal comrades. However, "Heart of the Ages" suggests a different musical approach: some slower rhythms, some programming effects, generous but sufficient amounts of keyboards, minimum use of blastbeats, large song durations and ...SOLOS. The sound becomes vast, elaborate as it is on so many different levels. And that's how this album's difference with traditional black metal becomes noticeable. If you're a black metal fan, you'll surely embrace it. If you support other metal genres, you'll find yourself head-banging with one of its riffs. If you're a fan of the atmospheric sound, then "Heart of the Ages" has a lot to offer you. In any case, it can surely teach you!

I've been trying to define the style of the guitar-body of this album and the only thing I could assume is that it bears the mark of too many classic rock and metal origins. Despite that, it holds all the essence of black metal and it surely can make you shiver. Kobro's firm and thunderous drumming follows the guitar delirium, only to enhance its strength and roughness. In this well-structured chaos, "Transit"'s voice leaps up either to spit out breath-taking and eerie shrieks or to express the wise and beautiful lyrics with a steady and heart-felt tone. Keyboards and female vocals here and there work as fill-ins to expand the already immense sound. Sometimes, the huge atmosphere fades out and calm programming or even small and tranquil guitar parts take place and enhance the general sound to satisfy the ear. The tension however never dies. Listen to the wonderful track "Pigeon", for example.

This is "Heart of the Ages": a colossal album that combines many different elements successfully to become a hymn of Wisdom and Nature that can touch you deeply. When it can be heard, light can be seen. When it can be sensed, divinity can be glimpsed. And that's how moments like the final 6 minutes of "Yearning Seeds of a New Dimension" can never die. They can live on to haunt you forever. Feel free to join this journey!

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9


Band profile: In The Woods...
Album: Heart Of The Ages


 


written by TheAmazingP | 18.03.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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quirin - 18.03.2009 at 12:39  
Heart Of The Ages is a masterpiece indeed! However, I wouldn't have rated the performance so high due to poor vocal mastery. Same goes for the production, which is good only when compared to average Scandinavian material of the nineties.

This is a accurate review nonetheless, and I'm glad it will promote this beautiful underrated album.
TheAmazingP - 18.03.2009 at 16:17  
I know what you mean. Maybe you're right, but I can't think of a better "package" of vocals, guitars etc.

It's trully underrated though.
Vitriolic Hate - 03.09.2009 at 16:08  
Written by TheAmazingP on 18.03.2009 at 16:17

I know what you mean. Maybe you're right, but I can't think of a better "package" of vocals, guitars etc.

It's trully underrated though.

Marcel Hubregtse - 03.09.2009 at 21:54  
Written by quirin on 18.03.2009 at 12:39

Heart Of The Ages is a masterpiece indeed! However, I wouldn't have rated the performance so high due to poor vocal mastery. Same goes for the production, which is good only when compared to average Scandinavian material of the nineties.



But then again you HAVE to compare it to its peers cause it was released in 1995 and not in 2009
quirin - 09.09.2009 at 01:29  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 03.09.2009 at 21:54


But then again you HAVE to compare it to its peers cause it was released in 1995 and not in 2009


Well then, i admit it sounds cleaner than Enslaved or Darkthrone stuff of yore.
Honestly, I miss these times when cheap prod could never spoil an album. Guess I'm getting old... (either that or Pro Tools is too easy to crack)
SatyriconChick - 20.11.2009 at 05:00  
This is an amazing album that I couldn't stop listening to when I got it. Not a dull moment on this release.

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