More Black Than They Thought Was Possible.
The Sarcophagus is a black metal band from Turkey. This two-piece enlisted the help of vocalist extraordinaire, Niklas Kvarforth (Shining), for the vocals on this album. Having existed well over a decade, they only put out their debut record, this one, last year.
After a fairly epic intro track, Towards The Eternal Chaos, which actually manages to set a mood of pretty much that, chaos. Piano, strings, war bells and percussion are littered throughout that 3 minutes intro and can serve to give you a mental picture of what is coming next. The Legend Sleeps Behind The Mountains is a monstrous track that manages to stay on the rails of melody while swaying into that chaotic area every so often that it keeps your attention.
For those that are aware of Kvarforth's usual style of screaming, which is what he does on this album by the way, you know kind of what to expect, vocally. On here you get a very dramatic style of screaming that ranges from regular black metal screams to low bellows to deranged yells. In a world of black metal vocalists that sound the same for the most part, Kvarforth is one of the few that has a distinguishable style, which can be found on here as much as in his other projects and bands.
Musically, the band ride in between the melodic black metal, ala Dissection, on tracks like Hymn to Awakening, while going for a more an atmospheric vibe on a track like The Sarcophagus, which by the way, has one of the best vocal moments on the album. Every track remains to a very melodic riffing style with blasting drums, this does not mean constant blast-beats by the way. Even the bit of folky melodies that rarely seem to enter the band's sound is very cool and, while not groundbreaking in any way, is done tastefully enough to not seem cheesy, hear Anatolian Dragons for proof.
This is, overall, a decent record that proved to be well worth revisiting. Taking plenty of influences into account and using them wisely enough to not sound like a total rehashing of that band, these guys manage to create a record that is both catchy and not at all boring. Kvarforth's vocals are just the icing on the burning black metal cake, check this out if you haven't already.
Overall Score: 8
Highlights: The Legend Sleeps Behind The Mountains, Age of Demons, Under The Lunar Eclipse