A debut LP of Russia's oldest and most respected black metal horde, that carried high the banner of Satan ever since it's formation in 1995 under the name DRAUGWATH. Having released three demos (one of which as a split with french CELESTIA), the band renamed into BLACKDEATH during the recording sessions of this album, which was already finished in 1998, but saw the light of day last year only.
The sound of an album vastly differs from the demo works, even though all the old elements are present -- monotonous drum machine, rasping necro vocals, vitriolic and cold riffs, that sound as spontaneous as they are complex. The notable difference comes from a clear production, as well as considerable shortness of the songs -- where DRAUGWATH songs tried to reach ten minutes at every opportunity, BLACKDEATH tracks rarely exceed the four minute mark. Same speed and style are maintaned throughout the whole 11-tracks-long album, the sense of being a single entity is underlined even in song titles (whose first letters make out "NRUTASECTOR"), making the song-by-song run-through pointless. The notable highlights are "The Metal Flowers", "Erection of the Seven Towers of Satan" and "Obey Baphomet" (a reworked version of "Shadowlands" from DRAUGWATH's first demo "Dwellers of the Cursed Forest").
The album was recently rereleased on CD by hellenic label ISO666, with two bonus tracks taken from the rehearsal sessions of the band's industrial side project CTHULHU BIOMECHANICAL. If you're into cold and raw black metal with an experimental touch, get it while you still can.
© 2002 ghaaroth