Ad Noctum/Dynasty of Death
Ad Noctum is the fourth album from these atmospheric, epic, black/thrash Norwegians. As with previous releases, the keys/synths are the dominant instrument, but here they're not in such a role. The drumming overpowers the keys and relegates them to fill in many places and the guitars have a great thrash feel. Limbonic Art does not really qualify as symphonic black metal because the keyboard is used in conjunction with the other instruments and not as the overriding characteristic of the songs. The style of playing is not overtly symphonic in the classical sense either. Atmospheric black is not a good name for their style either because, as far as I am concerned, all black metal has atmosphere. I suppose saying the keyboards provide an epic quality along the lines of older Emperor would not be a disservice since there is a superficial resemblance between the two bands as well as the obvious label connection. This is not a band easily pigeon-holed into a predefined category, which is a good thing. What we have is high quality black metal with thrash influences, an omnipresent keyboard that is never the easy listening style, and an excellent, heavy thundering drum sound. Why can't all black metal bands get this drum sound? Memorable songs include "Dynasty of Death," "Enthralled By The Shrine of Silence," and "The Yawning Abyss of Madness" - The use of Schmier-like vocals on " The Yawning Abyss..." are particularly effective. Fans looking for black metal that has not been watered down and possesses superior sound quality look no further.