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Stalingrad: War Episodes
(More Hate Productions)

Russian tech Death Metallers TALES OF DARKNORD have a long history behind them already. Formed in 1991, and having 5 studio albums already recorded, it's sort of a pity that this trio really isn't any better known outside of their own country. I mean, "Stalingrad: War Episodes" is actually a pretty badass album in sense of sheer technical virtuosity of the instruments - and how those instruments have been put to serve the band's attempts to get something worthy done song material wise. TALES OF DARKNORD do experiment a lot with their stuff, sort of pushing the envelope as hard as they possibly can in order to maintain a certain degree of musical challenge within each song on the record. The musical progressiveness is clearly something TALES OF DARKNORD want to challenge themselves for sure, counting pretty firmly on some unorthodox, jazzy tinged parts, and that obviously is a good thing for some people to hear them striving for this type of level of musical complexity - but then again, perhaps not so much for some other people, I guess. The later era Canadian OBLIVEON comes distantly to mind - and occasionally the long defunct Finnish grooving and rocking Death Metallers LUBRICANT - as well as ATHEIST even (specially those awesomely flirting Roger Patterson type of bass parts). Anton Shirl's on guitar, has the ability to shred very nicely with his 6-stringer but his vocals aren't anything that special though to be honest. Just pretty typical death grunts among thousands of other similar death grunts. But one should also know that it's very hard to try to growl as convincingly like a T-Rex in the killing spree (just try it yourself), just to make people go overly nuts by your effective vocal delivery. It needs to be mentioned that the first 4 songs have a nice and clear production while the rest of the stuff on the disc cannot really be compared to them when it strictly comes down to some production qualities. This album also has the band's 4-track 1995 demo "Absorbing Destinies" as bonus, which is a way more straightforward effort, with some progressive and jazzy oozing parts thrown in for an exciting measure. All this progressiveness that they had already incorporated into their songs back in 1995, pretty much also indicated, which musical direction they wanted to develop their style towards to, on their further releases to come. There's also a video recorded live in Taj-Mahal on this disc but I was personally unable to watch it for some strange reason. Technical, jazzy, progressive and occasionally rocking Death Metal is what TALES OF DARKNORD is all about. If that's something that meets some of your qualifications in Metal music, then this might well be something right up your alley. TALES OF DARKNORD can be contacted via their label:

Luxi Lahtinen

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