I may have already posted about this album and if I have, I don’t apologize because this album is a fucking monster of awesome sauce. There is good reason for the repeat as I just acquired the remastered version with the extra disc of material.
Where to start? How about with, this album is fuuuuucking amazing. It’s easily one of my favorite black/folk/pagan/symphonic/whatever albums and I defy you to put this one on and not get swept away in it’s grandeur. There’s no end to the amount of these folk infused black metal bands but what is rarer are bands who handle it so well. The interweaving of the heavier, ferocious black metal moments with the hypnotizing beautiful, melodic folk instrumentation and atmosphere is what this album is all about. The vocals are immediate and fierce and elevate the entire sound, almost echoing the highs and lows of each song. I could go on forever about this album.
As far as the remastering goes, I didn’t really notice much of a different. Some background effects are a but more prominent and it sounds a bit brighter, if that’s the right word, but there was nothing wrong with the production of the album in the first place, in my humble opinion. The bonus disc is where the real attraction for me is. There are “early” versions of the songs “Valkyria” and “Nebo Sumnih Nochey” which are interesting as they differ slightly in structure but they also throw in two cover songs: Bathory’s “Valhalla” from their essential Hammerheart album, and “Nights In White Satin” by, um, the Moody Blues. The Bathory cover is fucking phenomanal. Nokturnal manage to retain the epic-ness of the original and add a bit of their sound. The Moody Blues cover is, actually, pretty fucking cool. Abandoning the raspy vocals and singing in english, they make this song there’s, which is to say, fucking epic. The guitar solo part is so sweeping, you would never know this is a cover song unless it was pointed out to you. An odd choice to be sure, but they claim it and while it doesn’t really fit with the rest of the album, it’s a damn fine addition.
So what the fuck are you waiting for? Put this album in your ears, immediately.