Judas Iscariot
Distant in Solitary Night

It seems like Judas Iscariot records two albums a year, and on top of that, Akhenaten manages his own label and participates in his other band, Sarcophagus. How he finds time for a day job, assuming he has one, is beyond me. Regardless, Distant in Solitary Night is this extremist's fourth LP and although I may not agree with his racial beliefs, he can surely write some good music!

Don't you fucking LOVE the harsh, cold winter season? Wintertime and the music of Judas Iscariot go hand in hand. Distant in Solitary Night gives us the customary seven songs of raw, bleak blackness in the Scandanavian vein, yet crushes many a Norwegian band. First of all, there's "The Wind Stands Silent", which gets things off to a rousing, speedy start. Following that is one of the highlight tracks from this LP, "Where the Winter Beats Incessant". The melancholic main riffs built around slothfully mid-paced drum tempos make this a most epic, memorable song, second only to "The Clear Moon, and the Glory of the Darkness". This, like "I Filled with Woes the Passing Wind" from Of Great Eternity, is a drum-less piece and abounds with chilling, mournful soundscapes. These are my personal favorites of all of Akhenaten's compositions. . .always so depressing, yet infinitely nihilistic. "To the Black Tower of Victory" is rather short, being little over three minutes in length, but razes Hell, if you'll pardon the pun. "In the Bliss of the Eternal Valleys of Hate" and "Portions of Eternity Too Great for the Eye of Man" close out this opus, the latter being more than ten minutes and made up entirely of keys/synth and spoken word--a fitting mood-driven outro.

While there are still mistakes apparent in the music, Akhenaten must be commended for growing in his overall musicianship, especially the drumming department (check out the speedier-than-usual blast toward the end of "To the Black Tower of Victory". He does this all himself, mind you. Not many people do that for this long. Easily, this is the best record of the man's career and will make a superb disc for any social event. HAIL!

2000 goden