So yeah, after some fairly unorthodox black metal releases that saw some influences not often associated with black metal, like Indonesian gamelans, spoon-like drums, meandering violins and cellos, Indian chants, acoustic guitars that seemed to have a life of their own and lots more, it was a wild guess what 'Occult Anarchist Propaganda' would bring. And Book Of Sand has done it again, yet again an album that nobody would expect. Although, not because it is weird or avant-garde (I loathe that term).. This time, gone are the unorthodox influences and what we have here is a fairly orthodox black metal release. In fact, it is so orthodox that it had me scratching my head in bewilderment. I mean, it definitely sounds like Book Of Sand, but this is as close to 'mainstream' black metal as they have ever been. I mean, opening tracks 'Crumbling palaces' and 'The white man's burden' almost sound like a rawer Emperor! That poses a question though: do I like it?? The answer is a resounding 'Yes!'.
Because even though it might be more accessible to the general black metal audience, that doesn't mean Book Of Sand have made compromises. Anything but. It still demands focus and attention from the listener, like their other releases. And because of the blurred, raw production and the layering of the mix the whole thing is a veritable feast for anyone who wants to immerse him- or herself in the music and start digging for all the subtleties. One of those subtleties is the bass guitar. It is very prominent, but at the same time so blurry, it almost becomes a droning ambient layer in the music. There are also some creepy strings and even some bits of slide guitar but overall it's a hurricane, nay a maelstrom of furious raw, melodic blasting black metal.
So for those who stuck up their noses for the previous releases, now it is time devote your attention to this amazing band. Book Of Sand is truly one of a kind. Highly recommended.