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FURTHEST SHORE is a project that was created to pay tribute to the mighty BATHORY and Quorthon's epic art. So no cult Black Metal here, but a sonic tribute to the majesty of albums such as "Hammerheart" and "Twilight Of The Gods". And while it is a tribute, it is luckily no re-enactment of these masterpieces. Of course the BATHORY influences are obvious, but for this album the band managed to create an own style, nothing too unique, but very nice to the ears. In the line-up we have some members of DARKWOODS MY BETROTHED and again NIGHTWISH mastermind Tuomas Holopainen. This album is pretty similar to the epic parts of DARKWOODS second album; "Autumn Roars Thunder".
What the listener gets is great epic keyboard melodies, hymnic vocals and slow guitar play, altogether creating a bombastic sound, although not reaching the Wagnerian style that Quorthon has on "Twilight". Besides the normal keyboard, a flute is sometimes used in a very sensible manner, enhancing the epic experience. And of course there are acoustic guitar tones pleasantly mixed with the riffs.
The problem one can have with this album is that there isn't much difference between the songs, all are very good and are capable of creating a good image, but none have a real hook to them, or are radically different from others. I also feel that the production is a bit too clean and smooth for the music, a harsher sound would evoke more emotions with the listener and make it more interesting overall. That being said I must say that the guitar solos are really good and emotional, keeping it very enjoyable.
Of course there will always be standout songs; I must say that the first song after the intro, "Rise Of The Immortals" (we're not talking about the US now are we?) has a real good drive too it, it basically immediately shows what they are all about. Then "The Battle Of Haukfnead" is great as well; but would benefit from a little more aggression and speed, like most songs here. The raw emotion is not really present here and that is what makes BATHORY one of the greatest ever. Next song "...Until The Bitter End" is also killer, it probably has the best riff and simply sounds the most powerful. Tuomas' keys here sound great, as is the fact on everyone of his bands.
An enjoyable record for sure; very relaxing, but the band would've benefited from some more aggression and a little rawer sound. Another thing is variation in speed, second last song "Guardian Of The Blade" has some of the fastest parts of the album and is at the same time one of the best songs here. Same goes for closing track "The Prophecy", which makes the second half of the album superior to the first. Some of the best epical acoustic tones are heard here. People interested in this album should not expect a BATHORY copy, but rather a most relaxing epic journey. And finally; the album title hints towards there being more albums, or chapters if you will; I wouldn't mind it...
The Metal Observer
Emperor Nattasett - Vocals (ex-Barathrum, Darkwoods My Betrothed, ex-Nattvindens Grеt)
Hexenmeister (Teemu Kautonen) - Guitars, Bass, Narration (ex-Darkwoods My Betrothed, Nattvind, ex-Nattvindens Grеt, Wizzard (Fin))
R. Puukko - Guitars, Keyboard (Nattvind)
Tuomas Holopainen - Keyboard (ex-Darkwoods My Betrothed, For My Pain..., Kotiteollisuus, ex-Nattvindens Grеt, Nightwish, Sethian, Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus, ex-Timo Rautiainen)
Thypsy (Pasi) - Drums (Nattvind, ex-Wizzard (Fin))
Sir Th Le Grande - Backing Vocals
1996 - Demo,
1999 - Chronicles Of Hethenesse Book 1: The Shadow Descends (Full-length)
Викинг-метал(что бы там не писали на масдай)
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