By Octopi Mills

The old goat of old, ever present is embodied in the album cover, always there...always working his way from a medieval world to a 70s horror world into the soundtracks of his following herd. Somewhere an old denim jacket, somewhere on the wooden parlor decoration of some old occultist who collects only books and old memories.

The first song "A Work to Stand a Thousand Years" is pure dark metal with a medieval feel in the old school guitars complete with maddening vocals that are not of the usual beast worship. The band comes together as an actual band, sounding more live and in the room than not. The guitars are not treated with the hornet swarm sound that most take the approachable palsy to, ever in overuse. In fact, the guitars carry a different approach, and have an actual feeling of some medieval horror scenario. There was always something I found in MERCYFUL FATE that has this sort of feeling and few can do it correctly, in much the way one could find the atmosphere in British horror films like the company Hammer.

"Poison and the Crucifix" uses the same formula and the music sets in as dark, nocturnal, devilish. "Three Turns to the West" plays out like a short story from an old horror collection, and "The Wailing of the Immured" adds a theatrical, creepy cinematic accompaniment that sounds old and eldritch...something that one can hear from somewhere afar, perhaps when in nightmares. "Even the Devil Goes to Church".....another one like it is coming out of a horror collection. Throughout the album they hone the same sound, keeping it as they found it, and it works for them in this way.

"The Other Door" creeps around and is quite a strange and definitive song, working in old nostalgia not seen in the same way others often imitate and in so doing bore the hell out of a listener. The music is quite different in that it definitely has its own sound and a guitar that speaks with a voice that is able to make one see monsters and dark scenes in the mind. The album will end with "And So It Came to Pass", a sixteen minute song in which the guitar opening weaves and creates passages, woods, staircases- things like that...and keeps itself with a special sort of tone in that it seems to be an extension of the players spirit, nearly having a classical violin sort of notation and style..The bass and drums have been recorded in a important way too, giving it the feel of when albums were albums once, before in a not so distant past. The musicians have made this pact of an album, surely causing some old devil to hear and cause them much ill for years ahead.