Album: Blood on the Mountain
Label: Decius Productions
Release Year: 2001
Myrddraal is an Australian band, and "Blood on the Mountain" is their first full-length release, as well as the first release from Australian distro and label Decius Productions. Myrddraal play grim, northern Black Metal with occasional clean vocals and acoustic guitar.
The music here is very well-performed, but no instrument truly stands out above the others, giving Myrddraal a unified sound. There are two vocal styles, a typical Black Metal snarl and clean male vocals. My only musical complaint is that the clean vocals are occasionally a bit weak - they seem to sound better to me when they're proclaimed (as at the end of "Dumai's Wells") rather than sung. The acoustic guitar, on the other hand, was excellent. It creates a painful contrast with the cold brutality of the rest of the album, as well as a space in which the listener's mind is invited to wander. Taken together, these elements add up to a unique and oppressive atmospheric effect.
"Blood on the Mountain" contains some long songs (several break the ten minute mark), yet the album doesn't have an ounce of fat, and I never got bored listening - this is an album that truly embodies what "epic Black Metal" should be. This is music on a grand scale, and it's easily one of the most interesting new albums I've heard in the last year. Though there's certainly some room for improvement, Myrddraal has crafted a great album. "Blood on the Mountain" is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys uncommercial Black Metal.
Standout Tracks: Dumai's Wells, Under the Banner, Blood on the Mountain