Germany's melodic black metal masters have been going at it for quite some time. However, this is only the second album that has been released to a wide market in the U.S. On this release, Dark Fortress is going for a bit more of a melodic, slower, and overall far more sinister sound. Prior albums have been more similar in tone to Naglfar and Lord Belial. Here, the band branches out a little more.
Dark Fortress retains the black metal base to their sound, but have added some slower parts open to a bit more experimentation. Some near psychedelic moments shine through when the band is not blasting away. The band also benefits from a clearer, more crisp production sound. Every instrument can be heard well and nothing is buried in the mix.
Some of the songs on this album almost sound as if Dark Fortress has been taking influence from Nachtmystium. The songs are longer, a little more progressive in structure, and with some non-black metal elements showing through. It's an interesting take, and not one I was really expecting to hear on this album. The Dissection-esque riffs and rough vocals are still present, but there is a lot more going on this time around.
I am not sure what to think of this album yet. I really enjoyed the band's last album, and this is not all that similar to that. It might be a grower, but there's nothing wrong with that. Some of the songs are a little on the long side, but there's nothing really wrong with that either. I don't know. We'll see how I feel after the album has had some time to sink in.