Sound — 8
I'm more of a stoner guy (Kyuss, etc.). Thought this would be too heavy for me. However, tried it anyway, EW are supposed to be the King of doom and it won some doom record of the year award. Title track Black Masses didn't get me too hot, but second track Venus In Furs destroyed me. Was a sound I never heard before. Instantly hooked on the album and went after their other cd's as well ofcourse! This album is not as heavy as Dopethrone, Come My Fanatics and Witchcult Today. Sometimes the chords and rhythm don't seem to fit and the tracks are not as long as usual.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are surprisingly clear and mostly in higher voice, especially Venus In Furs, which is not a Velvet Underground cover. Yet the songs don't resolve around them. Which makes the music even more powerful. They stay in the back to be overwhelmed by the low tuned guitars and heavy, slow drum and bass. Subjects that are sang about are still witchcult related. Singing along with Scorpio Curse is a delight, so much overwhelming emotion, especially the chorus and the last sentence of the last verse, "Tears of joy at last as I buuuuuuuuuurn.".
Overall Impression — 8
The best tracks are Scorpio Curse (which has been played at every gig on EW's current tour and imo is one of their best songs ever), Venus In Furs (unusual singing voice) and Turn Of Your Mind (just creepy). The album does drag you into the dungeons of doom, but the songs aren't heavy and long enough. It's nowhere near as good as previous albums, but still a good buy, if only to hear what these legends have come up this time. This band has quickly become one of my ten favo's of all time, although they seem to be going somewhat soft now in the studio. Live, they're still as heavy as ever.