The album opens with the traditional atmospheric intro, 'VLE'. In fact, this is a brilliant one, cinematic and intriguing. It promises a stunner of an album, something where many black metal acts often disappoint. Not so with Azaghal, they forcefully throw in 'Mato Joka Sinut Turmelee' next, a fierce, intense and terrifying piece of black metal. Of course, formed back in 1995, these guys are seasoned musicians by now but this track is one of those fascinating examples of old school blackened chaos and it's bloody awesome.
Since the creation of Azaghal, the members must have seen the genre evolve and expand. In a way, that evolution also appears in the music. While traditional black metal still is the main ingredient, you can find influences from the black 'n roll scene but also some excellent heavy metal riffs and solos. As i mentioned before, these guys can play. They can do melodic, they can do atmospheric, they can do dark, but they mostly prefer to crush, destroy and tear apart, like it the vile and vicious 'Ruumistie'.
What i like most about this album, is the one thing I often miss about other black metal releases these days: identity. I've heard many albums which are mostly a collection of harsh, intense tunes which aren't bad but lack things that separate them from one-another. They all sound alike. Not so with Azaghal, where every fan can easily pick out his favorite song. For me that's 'AIWASS', an instant classic, so to speak. It has its own sound, fitting in with the rest but still unique.
So yeah, I like this album. It takes me back to when this genre was first bursting open, with fantastic compilations like 'World Domination' grabbing new listeners around the globe. Old school black metal fans should not doubt and quickly get their filthy hands on a copy of this gem. For those disapproving of today's post-black metal scene, this album is a bright shimmer of nineties hope, one that will get you headbanging from start to finish.