The most impressive aspect of this whole thing is actually the fact that he played every single thing on this album himself, something you might not believe when you listen to the album at first. It's even more stunning when you realize that the songs were written on an acoustic guitar and a cheap Casio keyboard because the artist couldn't afford more expensive equipment. Work on this album lasted seven or eight years.
Yes, he's that much of a perfectionist. There's little acoustic guitars left and if he still uses the Casio keyboard, there must have been a brilliant technician/producer in the studio. It all makes me wonder how those first demos must have sounded. The end result however is almost indistinguishable from the influences, both in musical quality as in songwriting an overall production. If you told me that this was the Moonsorrow side-project, I would have believed you.
The concept album narrates a tragic love story about a man and a woman who die during Ragnarok and see their souls get separated from one another. Musically, that story translates into a brilliant blend of symphonic passages, strong piano and fierce blasts of dark metal. Especially the latter are aggressive and brutally intense. You can almost feel the pain and suffering which the protagonist feels while searching for his loved one.
The story doesn't have a happy ending, as the protagonist eventually goes to Hel, the goddess of death, and asks her to freeze his heart so he can no longer feel the pain. Somehow it reminds of of a Shakespeare story in a Nordic setting. Yet, dear listener, for you this review does have a happy ending because this is one damn good album, versatile, intense, bombastic and symphonic. Everything you like about that particular genre is here.
I only hope he doesn't work on the follow-up for another eight years...