Limbonic Art - Legacy Of Evil
Black Metal
10 songs (59:08)
Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Goat

In the great, dark Norwegian Black Metal pub of the soul, there are three regulars in the Symphonic bar. Usually in the centre of the room we can find Dimmu Borgir, the bloated, alcoholic yet wealthy patron of the establishment. If not for him, many people would know nothing about Black Metal, and so the elder denizens of the pub give him a measure of tolerance. They know not to take him seriously, meaning that he gets away with a lot. He survives because many youngsters still find him quite amusing, and he is never happier than when sat at the centre of attention, the life and soul of the party, enjoying it before he gets too old and is forgotten in favour of a younger, more entertaining figure.

Over by the bar, on a plush black leather-covered stool, sits the Emperor. His past deeds have earned him huge respect, and there is little he does nowadays that is not praised to high heavens, simply for who he is. He watches the crowd around Dimmu with an amused twinkle in his eye, knowing that he has more than enough fans of his own that admire him for his genius rather than for his comic abilities. Disliking attention himself, he is still more than happy to support the pub in most ways, never abandoning it for the Goth club a few blocks away. He will live long and gracefully, sliding into old age retaining his powers, and will doubtless be a legend in the years to come.

Finally, sitting in the corner, draped in darkness, not so much sitting on the slightly mouldy chair as perched upon it like some fearsome bird of prey, we have Limbonic Art. His past deeds are not so well known in these modern, fickle times, but for a few he rates above the others. He has been very quiet for a long time, just sitting there staring into space – most people thought he was dead – but he is stirring now, beginning to move again, and there are surprisingly many watching him curiously, keen to see how he thinks in the year 2007, what he will say.

What is interesting about Legacy Of Evil is, that rather than the retro approach that the title sums up (wouldn’t it have been perfect for a ‘best-of’?) the band are looking very much forward. Guitars are much more prominent in the reassuringly murky production than previously, songs such as A Void Of Cosmic Dreams being driven more by them than the keyboards. Having said that, the keyboards are still part and parcel of the band’s sound, the dirge-like Grace By Torments truly sounding like a cosmic funeral.

This change means that the band’s sound is very much more of an attack than on earlier releases such as Moon In The Scorpio. Limbonic Art is a band that seems to have become angrier with age rather than mellowing, and there are moment when you’d swear that Emperor and even Dimmu Borgir had been a real influence this time around. In fact, let’s go all the way: Legacy Of Evil is the album Dimmu would have made this year if they were really any good. Listening to the title track’s catchy (!) central riff – hell, there’s a breakdown about halfway through - it’s hard to deny.

Quite what this will mean to the band’s fans is worth a topic all of its own, but from an outsider’s perspective, this is more than worth experiencing. Unlike the other, more difficult works, this is relatively straightforward and should be easy to get into for even the average Trivium-obsessed ‘core kid. None of this should be taken to mean the c-word (commercialised!) as there are more than enough moments of intense fury to scare away your average teeny-bopper, and that devilish atmosphere is present and correct, the wolf howls on the epic Lycanthropic Tales especially sending chills up and down the spine.

Elsewhere, the dynamic duo are on full energy. Nebulous Dawn has a particularly Black approach, whilst the intro to Twilight Omen is a highlight, building up slowly with choirs and that classic ‘fairground’ keyboard style before exploding with style. As ever, the weakest point of the music is the drums, obviously programmed, and whilst a non-human drummer is generally pretty skilled at keeping time there’s no replacement for the real thing. Frost, Hellhammer, Trym, Horgh, Faust, Dirge Rep – Norway has no end of celebrity Black Metal drummers, any of whom would be more than happy to lend their blastbeats to a band with the status of Limbonic Art.

This is sure to appeal to a wide range of Blackened acolytes, from those familiar with Limbonic Art and wanting to see how relevant it is in 2007, to the newer visitors to the Black Metal bar, perhaps drinking in its dark yet satisfying aroma for the very first time. Although it isn't the spacey masterpiece that approximately half of the band's fans will have been wishing for, it is a very good Black Metal album, and worth your attention.

Killing Songs :
Goat quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Limbonic Art that we have reviewed:
Limbonic Art - Phantasmagoria reviewed by Goat and quoted 77 / 100
Limbonic Art - The Ultimate Death Worship reviewed by Alex and quoted 76 / 100
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