Dark Fortress - Profane Genocidal Creations
Red Stream
Pseudo Symphonic Black Metal
10 songs (78:23)
Release year: 2003
Dark Fortress, Red Stream
Reviewed by Jay

This album was highly recommended by one of our readers. It was billed as being similar to Dimmu Borgir. It looked it up and it seemed like Symphonic Black Metal. It even had the incomprehensible three-word album title that Dimmu Borgir are the masters of. After spending some serious time tracking the album down, I popped it in my CD player and was let down. Expecting, some Dimmu Borgir style metal, I got a cheap rip-off instead. If this subgenre had a punk movement, this band would exemplify it. Dark Fortress are amateurs compared to the Norwegian masters of metal.

The production is not up to par. This is what really turned me away from the album. Yes, I know Burzum and Darkthrone have less than spectacular production but it just doesn’t fly for me. Dimmu Borgir never uses substandard production. The bass is non-existent and the cymbals aren’t well defined. I’m not a big fan of the guitar sound they use but that’s a matter of personal preference. It sounds much too brite and is too prominent in the final mix. Then there are the keyboards of the lack thereof. When I think of Symphonic Black Metal, I think of keyboards playing a major role. There are keyboards here but they are buried in the mix. It’s often hard to hear what they are playing. The atmospheric qualities are provided as well but they’re nowhere near as good as that of other bands. I mean listen to some other bands in the genre and you’ll find the keys play more of an important role. I wouldn’t have minded as much if there were fewer keyboards but they bill themselves in the symphonic vein. The vocals are standard and about the only aspect that I feel is mixed correctly. I wasn’t a fan of the female vocalist they use either. Her voice is thin at times. She cannot compare to Bente Engen who did the female vocals on Enthrone Darkness Triumphant.

The composition is fine and standard fare for the genre but some songs were too long and seemed to go nowhere. “Passage to Extinction” and “In Morte Aeternitas” are the two main culprits here. I have no problems with long songs (I love Opeth) but these are clockwatching songs. “Moribund be thy Creation” is the highlight of the album. It has the best keyboard work of all the songs and doesn’t sound too contrived. The drum work here is the best of the album as well. This solo also stuck with me. This brings me to another point. There is nothing memorable about this album. Each song sounds very similar to the one that preceded it and the one that follows it. What’s the point of making an album that doesn’t stand out that much? Granted, there are people who love this album but the repetition got to me. Cryptic Wintermoon really impressed me with their album because each song was memorable and two of the songs have become some of my favorite black songs to date. “A Fortress Dark” is another good song because it creates and atmosphere well and doesn’t have to rely on the same structure as every other song seems to.

Fans of Dimmu Borgir will be disappointed as I was with this. Try Cryptic Wintermoon’s latest release A Coming Storm before this album. If you are more into traditional style black metal this might be for you but I don’t get what’s supposed to be so great about this band.

Killing Songs :
A Fortress Dark, Moribund be thy Creation
Jay quoted 47 / 100
Misha quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Dark Fortress that we have reviewed:
Dark Fortress - Ylem reviewed by Kyle and quoted 91 / 100
Dark Fortress - Stab Wounds reviewed by Misha and quoted 50 / 100
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