Dark Fortress storms back to form with their first release in six years, a melodic black metal masterpiece that will appeal to both old and new fans. While at its heart it is black metal through and through the melodic side and even hints of heavier darker thrash are there to be heard in all its sinister glory. Opening track “Coalescence” is a fine example of this, speedier riffs melding with the gravelly vocals of Morean and pumped up drums to set the tempo. “The Spider In The Web” is a brilliant track from the growling vocals to the atmospheric harmonies in the background, the guitars are simply stunning from the breakdown in the middle, with Millie Petrozza style spoken vocals adding to the feeling, to the ferocious riffs throughout the track. “Spectres Form The Old World” goes back to roots right from the off, drumming that is off the charts coupled with manic guitars and Morean’s menacing vocals, classic.
“Pali Aike” is a great track with a hypnotic beat that keeps you enthralled right from the off with a spine-tingling feel to it and vocals that range from growled to hushed tones all with grinding riffs and an epic solo. “Pazuzu” has a thrashier feel to it and is faster than its predecessor but you still get the darker, heaviness that they are known for with a savage drum beat and some chilling harmonies this is a crowd-pleaser of epic proportions. “Isa” is a seven and a half minute masterpiece that runs from slow grinding opening to a brutal vocal assault that dips into cleanly sung breakdown before returning to form, it has a Bolt Thrower beat to it combined with creepy whispered vocals that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and an amazing solo that comes out of nowhere, this is outstanding.
“Pulling At Threads” is possibly the weakest track on the album, while it plays at a million miles an hour it has some clean vocal sections that just feel out of place and would be more at home on a metalcore album, the only redeeming quality is the homage to Slayer around the minute thirty mark with a riff straight out of their playbook. “In Deepest Time” is a thumping track that will have the circle pits working overtime the clean vocals again add to the eerie undertones while the guitars again have a massive impact with some serious shredding. “Swan Song” explodes into life with some seriously powerful drumming before Morean’s guttural roar punches you in the gut with the guitars fading in and out of heavy grinding riffs and mesmerizing solos, haunting choir harmonies are interspersed throughout to give you the full black metal experience. “Nox Irae” closes the album sung in Latin is a strange but fitting way to close the album.
DARK FORTRESS “Spectres from the Old World” (58:12) track listing:
- Nascence (Intro) (1:36)
- Coalescence (4:32)
- The Spider in the Web (5:26)
- Spectres from the Old World (5:50)
- Pali Aike (5:18)
- Pazuzu (5:50)
- Isa (7:38)
- Pulling At Threads (3:16)
- In Deepest Time (5:16)
- Penrose Procession (Interlude) (2:36)
- Swan Song (7:17)
Nox Irae (3:38)
Spectres From The Old World is out now via Century Media Records.
Dark Fortress are:
Asvargr Guitars, backing vocals
V. Santura Guitars, backing vocals
Phenex Keyboards, backing vocals