Carpathian Forest - _Black Shining Leather_
by: Nuno Almeida (
It's about time! After three years of seemingly endless wait, here it is! The follow-up to their excellent debut MCD _Through Chasm, Caves and Titan Woods_. This classic cult Norwegian band almost doesn't need introduction. Having started in 1992 and released two demos (1992's _Bloodlust & Perversion_ and 1993's _Journey Through the Cold Moors of Svarttjern_), they signed for Avantgarde and released the previously mentioned MCD in 1995. After the re-release on CD early last year of their legendary first demo plus some other goodies from the band's early years, _Black Shining Leather_ is now finally released. Was it worth the wait? It sure was! J. Nordavind and R. Nattefrost, helped by Lazare of Solefald on drums, managed to create a cold, primitive and raw, Hellhammer / Celtic Frost influenced display of Norwegian black metal. The material on the album was composed throughout the last four years, which explains the fact that the musical style changes frequently between songs, alternating fast and raw songs with more melancholic, slow to mid-paced ones. Vocals are the usual black metal rasp, changing to whispers on "Pierced Genitalia", a very eerie, dark ambient song, and the last one, "A Forest" -- this one being a cover of The Cure's classic. Though apparently not related to the rest of the tracks, this cover fits the rest of the album well, with its gothic feeling, whispered vocals and cool, almost mechanical drums. Keys are used in a simple yet very effective way, helping to create truly eerie, dark and cold melodies throughout the album. Overall, a great release, and one of my favorites of 1998. (Also reviewed in Ancient Ceremonies #3 -- http://come.to/ac_zine/)
(article published 5/19/1999)
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