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Bathory - Twilight of the Gods
Review: Perhaps the lost musical companion to "Gravity's Rainbow" or the Beatles album that stayed on the shelves, "Twilight of the Gods" is an epic of heavy metal opera that transcends all scope previously addressed in rock music to present the essence of individuals in crisis in the presence time: nothing to believe in, and even our own behavior has failed - what is left? "O, all small creatures: it is the twilight of the gods!"
Structured like a visual revelation of story, the album opens with an epic after silence and returns to that emptiness, emerging through organic sound as the whole of its recollection of how the situation got to the point reflected in the inception, chaos and the title track ("In this age of utter madness, we pretend we are in control"). From this point careful orchestration of dynamic distinguishes this release as songs utilize acoustics, a capella and lush weavings of keyboard and organic noise to present spaces in which explosive conquest of space occurs through rhythm and melody.
In songwriting epic, in tactics built of melodic heavy metal dependent on internal harmony for resonance, these indulgently operatic works present emotion through vocals, in the style of rock music, and like more progressive rock works use changes in verse to indicate lyrical changes in singing cueing imminent change. Forerunners of the Nordic black metal stomp beat and rowing rhythm can be heard, as well as careful use of introductory and interlude material for conceptual balance, a technique which has appeared on modern metal albums. Further the concepts and language used on this release are now familiar thanks to their absorption by Burzum, Graveland, Immortal, Darkthrone and others.
Although not as much metal as heavy metal/rock, this highly intelligent and philosophically erudite work of the end of human history expresses the alienation and dying hope expectable from such an age, and channeling through art its emotion expressed a stage on which others would build with the opposite reaction: we must fight back.