A couple of excellent songs, the rest so-so
Ishak Ivatar | 11/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lord Belial, in general, are capable of creating very excellent melancholic black metal. They have found, in my opinion, the perfect middle ground between melodic black metal and the harsher sound of "purist" black metal bands; at least, they do this in a select several of their songs across their various ablums: examples of these are Lamia from Enter Moonlight Gate and Satan Divine from this album. The melody in every song tends to be dominated by rather typical but skillful black metal guitars, with a relatively traditional (when comapared to, say, Dimmu Borgir or Cradle of Filth) black metal sound; what separates their most superior songs from the rest is their limited but effective use of keyboards and even, occasionally, other instruments like flutes for small motifs within the particular song.
That said, this album has a several songs that, though examples of fine black metal, are not nearly at the level of their better songs (the very best songs on this album, in my opinion, are "Hymn of the Ancient...", "Satan Divine" (so beautiful at times it nearly brought tears to my eyes), and "Lilith..."). If there were a "Best of Lord Belial" compilation, or something along those lines, containing the best songs from this and their other albums, I would definitely give such a CD five stars. Alas, despite having some truly amazing highlights, I must give this album four stars.
In summary, this is excellent black metal, which balances well the melodic, bittersweet elements of "pop" black metal with the sounds of traditional black metal. This is serious black metal; never tongue-in-cheek as Cradle of Filth, for example, can be on occasion, and definitely nowhere near the realm of bands like "Cannibal Corpse" or the like."
Good Black Metal From Metal Blade.
SpacegrassMan | Insane Land of Words & Music | 12/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The only reason this didn't get 5 stars is because I thought it didn't have that certain 'blackness' in the sound that really makes a Black Metal album. That extra evil edge that you hear in bands like Mayhem, Darkthrone, Immortal and Gorgoroth. All these songs are great though. I listen to this all the time. I would say if you like a band like God Dethroned, then get into this. Note: there is a girl member who plays the flute ... I know ... the flute!?! Not what you think. It doesn't sound like Black Metal with a puke sounding flute, like Kenny G. or some such crap. It's used very limited to the point that you wonder why she's a band member and not just listed as the girl who played the flute parts. Lord Belial is hard and haunting, just don't look for that cold feeling you get with the masters of Black Metal."