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Black Messiah - The Final Journey

Black Messiah
The Final Journey
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 16 March 2012, 2:51 AM

There is a number of Metal releases where my focus shifts from the overall Metal music to the out of the ordinary elements that every band chooses to implement in order to stand out. When it comes to Folk Metal, usually bands of the kind tend to integrate their music with fundamentals that are the sole basis of Folk music, sometimes in an intensified and frantic rate that nearly takes hold of the entire Metallic features of the music and sometimes in a safe measure. BLACK MESSIAH from Germany, since the early 90s, has been a Black Metal outfit relying on what seemed to me as the harsh form of the Nordic style that got to be pretty common back in those days. However, since the midterm of the last decade they began changing their form into extreme Folk / Viking Metal while still not giving up their Black Metal figure. Though not so unique, this combination of Black Metal and Folk music has always fascinated me. "The Final Journey" is the band's new title under AFM Records and as always it tells the same story of the glory of the Vikings, yet BLACK MESSIAH perception of legends, along with their experience, brought them to create a well done outcome.

Going over the track list of "The Final Journey", BLACK MESSIAH wrote several of the songs in German. Though I am not close to be polished in that language it didn't bother me at all. More or less, the music told the whole story on its own even though I didn't understand a word from Zagan's storytelling voice. The way I saw it, it was like a screen play running before my eyes and all I could do is to imagine the scene through the music. There were also songs in English that made me a little more comfortable on understanding what is going on like "To Become A Man", a true harmonic feature that tells the story of how a young Viking turns into a man after a test of his will and also I can't forget of "The Naglfar Saga", which is the album's prime achievement and crown jewel. Like many other extreme Folk Metal bands, or other Folk bands in general, there is a strong usage of keyboards, acoustic guitars and in this band's case, the violin. I think that the violin on this release made me adore it even more than the great sounding guitars that reminded me of DISSECTION, DARKTHRONE and FALKENBACH or the hard hitting drums that prolonged with intense base drum sound or the majestic wondrous and devilish vocals of Zagan. That same violin, as a lead mark, elevated the instrumental track of "Into The Unfathomed Tower (A Tribute To Candlemass)". The violin, as also a lead instrument in an orchestra, was also the lead vocals.

Through the grandiose nature of the "The Naglfar Saga", I felt the motivation of BLACK MESSIAH on creating such highly invested compositions. They told an interesting and tremendous story regarding the mythology of the Vikings, but the music w as divine. From eager harshness filled with blast beats and flash forwarding riffs, solos and licks to kindhearted moments of glorious grandeur. "Sailing Into Eternity" showed that there is no end to how the Vikings could be presented. BLACK MESSIAH made one of the most impressive saga endings that I have ever heard. It is hard not to enjoy their passion and I hope to see more of it soon.

4 Star Rating

1. Windloni
2. Der Ring Mit Dem Kreuz
3. To Become a Man
4. Into the Unfathomed Tower (A Tribute to Candlemass)
5. Feld Der Ehre
6. Lindisfarne
7. The Naglfar Saga: Prologue - The Final Journey
8. The Naglfar Saga: Mother Hel
9. The Naglfar Saga: On Board
10. The Naglfar Saga: Sailing Into Eternity
Zagan- Vox, Violin, Guitar
Frangus- Guitar
Garm- Bass
Meldric- Guitar
Agnar- Keys
Brøøh- Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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Edited 31 January 2023

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