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DARK FORTRESS
DARK FORTRESS
Venereal Dawn
(Century Media Records)
68:41min

Germany's Black Metal institution DARK FORTRESS are back with their seventh output and I was curious to hear, what can be expected from them nowadays, as their outputs were always far from being middle-rated. Reviewing this album as a whole was a difficult challenge, as each track seems to have a different direction and normally deserves single reflection. The opening and title track 'Venereal Dawn' shows, what the band stands for in 2014. Melodic Black Metal balancing between aggression and melodic parts, nearly hymns with choirs, ambient and menacing keyboard passages, accentuating their dark and ambient music. Also with over eleven minutes, a very long opening track and a statement for a development away from any boundaries of Black Metal into an ambient, own direction, similar to the development BEHEMOTH went through, not comparing the musical style of course. The second track 'Lloigor' shows some parallels to OPETH mixed with the Black Metal violence while the third track 'Betrayal And Vengeance' sounds a bit like a track from HYPOCRISY during their "Abducted" era before 'Chrysalis' returns to more ambient sound with the same darkness, KATATONIA interferes on their outputs. 'I Am The Jigsaw Of A Mad God' opens the second and darker part of the album with a more raw but still ambient direction and starts up with blast-beats and is the first real Black Metal track on the album. My small favourite, as this is a dark haunting hymn, merging into melodic but menacing Black Metal with a nice groove in the middle and again accentuated with well-fitting keyboard sounds. The next three tracks move in the same direction before the last surprise closes this little journey through the dark. 'On Fever's Wings' is an ambient dark track, with a more industrialized voice and keyboard sounds, influenced by the classic sounds of the Middle East and female guest vocals in the vein of older ORPHANED LAND. All in all a very well-made album, breaking once again the boundaries of styles and showing the high musical skills of these dark warriors. For all further information check out: www.darkfortress.org, www.facebook.com/officialdarkfortress, www.centurymedia.com

Michael Kujawska

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