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On disc: Setherial

Endtime Divine - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Ekpyrosis - Mike Thompson - 6 stars


(Regain Records - 2010)

Setherial is a veteran band in the ever-growing Swedish black metal scene. Ekpyrosis is the seventh full-length addition to their hefty discography following on from 2006's Death Triumphant.
I've heard it said that Setherial embody the two sides of Swedish black metal; the brutality of bands such as Marduk and the melodic side of Dissection. This is a fair assessment of this band's sound overall, a sound that I have to add has not changed overly much since their first album. There are lots of blasting beats, trebly guitars and ferocious drumming combined with a slick production courtesy of Mysteriis.
Unfortunately, I found this album incredibly dull. Its not bad, its just that it sounds like every other average black metal outfit in existence. There's nothing that separates this album from the pack. This has been a curse of Setherial's since their early days really as, although they've done some good albums such as Nord and Endtime Divine, they've never really manage to write songs memorable enough to warrant anything more than an occasional listen. Ekpyrosis is another building block in the fortress of the mundane in which Setherial exist.
There are far better black metal albums out there, but if you're a fan of Setherial this release will please you.

6 stars

Mike Thompson


Endtime Divine

Endtime Divine
(Regain Records - 2003)

The band was founded in 1993 / 1994 by Alastor Mysteriis and Devothan. After a line-up change they recorded their debut Nord at the famous Abyss Studio. More line-up changes followed. Now after a long break they return with a new studio album which is called Endtime Divine. Musically the Swedish are sticking to the roots of Scandinavian black metal and try to carry the legacy of 'conservative' black metal. The guys are not into pushing the borders of the genre, not experimenting with new sounds or structures. So songs like The Underworld or Entity Of Night are food for the musical thirst of black metal purists. Another interesting aspect is probably the vocal part, coz no other then Naglfar's Wrath took over the vocal duties! So you can expect high quality black metal. Or do you think Wrath would have done this, if he wasn't convinced by the quality?!?
The sound is perfectly done at the Abyss Studio. The album comes with a cover of Necrolord (e.g. Dissection, Tiamat, etc.) and is available on CD, vinyl and picture vinyl. But get your vinyl / picture vinyl copy fast, coz the vinyl editions are limited on 500 copies!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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