In a good year for Symphonic Black/Death Metal, with excellent releases from the likes of Haggard, Hollenthon, Therion and even a touch of the strings on Judas Priest's Nostradamus, this is another fine addition!
Far less gimmicky and WAY more intense, than the underwhelming Thornography, this is a return to the cinematic scope of 2003's Damnation And A Day. There is much in terms of bombastic orchestration to be enjoyed - provided by keyboard/synth but none the less impressive for this. In fact, it's rivalled only by the sterling keyboard work on Epica's Divine Conspiracy in it's recreation of a real orchestral style sound. Haunting choral work is also present to chill and unease.
The production is lavish, yet never loses sight that this IS Metal. Furious bass drums, harsh riffs and the demonic wails of Dani Filth liken comparison to Dimmu Borgir. The lyrics are dark and eloquently written, depicting the lifestory of a middle ages serial killer. Final exquisite touches are supplied by the superb vocal textures of Doug (Pinhead) Bradley on the narrative interludes. Class!
Special mention for the superb artwork!
This is so much better than the last album in every single department...