Obtained Enslavement - Witchcraft review
01. Prelude Funebre
02. Veils Of Wintersorrow
03. From Times In Kingdoms...
06. Torned Winds From A Past Star
07. Carnal Lust
08. The Seven Witches...
This album, released in 1997, is one of my all-time favorites, and is given a spin as often as I have the occasion. For an unknown reason though, it seems to me it has gone largely unnoticed; maybe because during the same era were released Dimmu Borgir's Stormblåst and Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, Satyricon's Nemesis Divina and Emperor's Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk (which all are excellent albums).
But what makes this album, in my opinion, worth listening to? Let's see:
Music-wise, don't expect something über original, never done before and never done since: it's symphonic black metal. But it is well made. REALLY well made. I can only salute the composer's work, for the orchestrations alone make this album a worthy purchase. Every musician knows what he has to do and does it with the honor, and Pest's (of Gorgoroth fame) shrieking vocals really add something to the atmosphere. It's dark, it's nocturnal, it's a walk through the woods under the full moon. And if you liked Dimmu Borgir's piano track on Stormblåst, you'll love the outro, "O'Nocturne". No song appears boring or weak to me, it's one of the rare records I'm not sometimes tempted to skip a track of.
Regarding the production, I simply love it. It's not Behemoth-clear with everything trigged; but fuck it, it's black metal we're talking about! You can hear every instrument clearly, that's all that matters to me. Moreover, if you too got angry, or cried when you heard the re-release of Dimmu Borgir's Stormblåst, you definitely know what I'm talking about.
I have to admit, the cover and the band member pictures may look a bit ridiculous. But it's Immortal-ridiculous. Thus, tr00 kvlt. Let me explain: if a band were to do a video clip like Immortal's "Call Of The Wintermoon", I assume they would straight away be called posers, plastic made, and such. But because it is Immortal, because it was back in the day, because it was considered "grim trve kvlt evuhl" at the time, people enjoy(ed) it. I believe it goes the same for Obtained Enslavement. It has that genuine Norwegian black metal mark which makes it cult and not radicult.
My global feeling about this album: like you might have guessed, I enjoy this album both for the music, which is simply excellent, and its atmosphere. I don't like listening to an album that doesn't take me anywhere, that doesn't light the pyre of dreams in my head. This record really takes me on a journey, in grim ol' Norway. I can't help but air-blasting when the drummer does, taking necro-poses and "air-screaming" when the music sounds.
Gosh, it's hard putting words on feelings. I'll use only one: permaboner.
- "Veils Of Wintersorrow"
- "From Times In Kingdoms..."
- "Carnal Lust"
Who I recommend this album to:
- Every fan of Limbonic Art, Emperor, early Abigor, early Satyricon, Dimmu Borgir, Nazgul and other bands in the genre I'm not aware of/can't think of
- People who want to get into symphonic black metal and want to start with what is, in my opinion, a keystone record of the genre.
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