Bal-Sagoth - _Atlantis Ascendant_
(Nuclear Blast, 2001)
by: Matthias Noll (3 out of 10)
This band tries -so- hard to be epic and bombastic. What comes out of it somehow reminds me of Monty Python's lumberjack song. John Cleese and Co.'s lumberjack tune starts off with describing the manliest of men, but in the end it turns out he's wearing women's underwear. Strangely coincidental, the results of Bal-Sagoth's attempts to sound epic, glorious and heroic are so over the top that the result is quite the contrary. If the constant use of cheap sounding, guitar power cannibalising keyboards would guarantee majestic soundscapes, the spoken "The Warrior's Prayer" ("Grandfather, please tell us a story...") be my favourite Manowar track, Spinal Tap a band without any sense of humour, Children of Bodom too old-school and necro for my likings, and the Earth shaped like a disk, then this could be my favourite album of all time. You should buy this record if you search for the missing link between the cheesiest bits and pieces of Cradle of Filth and power metal, served with many breaks and keys, keys and more keys, reciting worn out "classical" melodies. If you enjoy this conglomerate served on top of a rhythmic backbone and flow which reminds me of the recently reformed Sabbat (UK), then this is the perfect album for you. And, before someone asks, fortunately I'm not familiar with any previous Bal-Sagoth records and therefore can't comment on any differences or progression. In case this -is- "War Metal" as Nuclear Blast claim, then it must relate to the "Phoney War" after Germany invaded Poland and was at war with France and England but no one fired a shot for a couple of months.

(article published 12/8/2001)

12/9/1999 P Schwarz 6 Bal-Sagoth - The Power Cosmic
6/7/1998 B Meloon 7 Bal-Sagoth - Battle Magic
2/4/1997 D Schinzel 8 Bal-Sagoth - Starfire Burning...
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