Dark Fortress - _Ylem_
(Century Media, 2010)
by: Jackie Smit (9 out of 10)
There was a time not too long ago, when black metal appeared to be in grave danger of having its misanthropic sting lopped right off; the ideals of particularly its Nordic architects engulfed in a torrid slew of high street-friendly Cradle of Filth merchandise. Enter necro; a belligerent sub-species facilitated by names like Anaal Nathrakh and Blut Aus Nord, and hell-bent on dragging black metal straight back into hellish nether-regions of the underground.

If nothing else, these bands' often overblown musical antics succeeded in mainlining danger back into a scene that was on the verge of becoming as threatening as a bar of chocolate, and nowadays their influence can be prominently spied in the work of a few names who previously had all but readily admitted to riding Dimmu Borgir's coattails in both style and substance. Among these, you will go a long to finding a group who have managed to cross-breed the vaguely accessible with the downright anti-social with quite the same level of class as Germanic grimsters Dark Fortress. Indeed, while their sixth studio release bears the etchings of some of the sleek cosmetic touches of a _In Sorte Diaboli_, there's a malicious strain threading its way through the likes of "As The World Keels Over" and "Silence" that would never resonate with anyone whose idea of evil is a T-shirt with "cunt hunters of the night" emblazoned on the back in gothic font.

Early on, Dark Fortress appear content to meet out these rich swathes of atmosphere economically; the opening track only subtly betrays what lies in store. By the time "Hirudineans" rolls around however, they are at the peak of their powers; aggression and grandiose aura pumped up to virtually suffocating levels. Needless to say, _Yelm_ soundly trounces its predecessors and lays down an impressive gauntlet for any who would follow in its creators' wake. Bloody brilliant!

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/darkfortress

(article published 7/3/2010)

4/11/2003 A McKay 8.5 Dark Fortress - Profane Genocidal Creations
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