Album Title: In Flames of Purification
Label: Millenium Metal
This is the first CD from German band Bilskirnir, a one-man band playing pagan NSBM.
Bilskirnir's style is reminiscent of early Burzum and Graveland - raw, yet somewhat melodic. The guitar sound is layered and repetitive, effectively fusing several unique individual riffs into a whole. The drumming is solid, with a lot of cymbal and varied breaks. Vocals are a harsh scream, with occasional throat-tearing moments of aggression. The production is thin, but perfectly mixed, so that guitar, drums, and vocals are well-balanced.
The writing here is very solid. Especially worthy of praise is "Die Lichtung". It's thirteen minutes of sludgy and oppressive riffs, all swirling around a central theme. This is probably one of the best songs to cross my desk in months, though the other songs are nearly as distinctive. They range from epic and introspective to short and triumphant, all without a boring moment. In general, this album shows a great deal of improvement over the band's earlier demo material. Impressive, considering the high quality of Bilskirnir's demos.
With one Graveland cover song, four bonus tracks from earlier Bilskirnir works, and some re-recorded demo songs, this album isn't entirely new. Even so, it's still a must-have for anyone interested in Bilskirnir's music, or in pagan black metal in general.
Standout Tracks: "In Flames of Purification", "Die Lichtung", "For the Return of Paganism"