Sound: This is Stonegard's follow-up to 2005's Arrows, a terrific, rockin', dirty slab of good ol' heavy metal. On this album however, they're going for a more melodic approach. Yes, this is melodic death metal, but do NOT confuse this with the Gothenburg sound! It's chuck full of widdling melody, crushing riffs, concrete percussion, and both clean and raw vocals. I know, I know. This sounds all too familiar, and why should you care, right? Okay, so they've got the same basic recipe as a million other bands, but that doesn't mean they all sound the same. With Torgrim Torves fantastic vocals, Erlend Gjerde's solid drumwork, and duelling guitars sweeping the landscape, they've followed this recipe through to a f--king duck flamb!
You've got the fast stuff (From Dusk Till Doom), the slow stuff (Morpheon), and the groovy stuff (The Last Good Page) all wrapped in to 9 songs clocking in at about 35 minutes of joy. // 10
Lyrics: Very good work with the lyrics here. Some of them are a lot more "grown up" than most bands in the genre, and still not the artsy-fartsy diffuse kind of stuff (seek out the title track). In my opinion, the main theme of the album is, as the title suggests, damnation and trying to escape it. It's not a concept album, but I recognize this in most of the songs. And the music fits well with it. Chaotic blastbeats and monster riffs while trying to escape certain doom. And the slower, more melodic parts when coming to terms with your fate. // 8
Overall Impression: These guys are freakin' talented and deserve the recognition they've worked so hard for. This masterpiece makes me proud of being Norwegian. In conlusion: Get off your ass, get the hell off thepiratebay, go out and buy this album! (If you're lucky, you'll get a hold of the original 2006 album. The re-recorded european album will out later in 2008). All hail the mighty Stonegard! // 10