Sirius - _Aeons of Magick_
(Nocturnal Art, 2000)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
Having signed to Emperor guitarist Samoth's Nocturnal Art Productions thanks to their _...The Eclipse_ demo [CoC #37], this Portuguese symphonic black metal band traveled to Norway to mix their debut full-length album in the Akkerhaugen Lydstudio (of Emperor fame) after having recorded it in Portugal. The result is a heavily keyboard-driven album worthy of being on Nocturnal Art. In fact, with only a few exceptions, the guitar work (which is sometimes less than an early Limbonic Art buzz, if you know what I mean) is usually smothered beneath the keyboards; only occasionally does it have a noteworthy role or a stronger sound. The drum sound is also quite withdrawn, but the drumming itself is competent. With some well performed vocals and very good classically influenced keyboard symphonies, the whole thing does work very well when put together. Nevertheless, their sound, which is also much cleaner and less aggressive than on their demo, could have been more powerful while still retaining enough keyboard details. With the exception of the rather forgettable keyboard instrumental track midway through the album, the music is generally quite inspired, even if it could have used a darker atmosphere around it, and does have a few excellent passages as well. Sirius are one of the finest classically influenced symphonic black metal bands out there already, but there are still aspects that need to be improved in the future.
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