Iuvenes - _Riddle of Steel_
(No Colours Records, 2000)
by: Alvin Wee (8 out of 10)
It must be something in the water over there: Poland's black metal elite just can't seem to get enough of this "Viking" mood. First, Poland's loyal sons Graveland surprised us with their epic _Immortal Pride_, and now debutantes Iuvenes follow suit with another "Hammerheart" tribute. Advertised as the "Polish answer to Bathory and Falkenbach", this obscure Carpathian outfit doesn't disappoint with the five long tracks on this album. A suitably majestic horn-blowing "Prolog" opens up the album, leaving little to the imagination as "Chariots of Gods" rides in with the requisite martial drumming and more horns. Pretty involving stuff if played out loud, evoking a truly medieval, war-like feel, which is more than can be said for the draggy _Immortal Pride_ album. Clean "Viking" bellowing takes over on the ten-minute epic "Ubi Sunt", which carries on the olden-warrior thang a tad too long, before the title track breaks in with a promising beating of war drums and blowing of war horns. Clearly the best track on the album, "Riddle of Steel" blends all the previous elements into one glorious war hymn clocking in at fifteen minutes. Guaranteed to please the most deluded warrior with its interwoven motifs and epic structure, this is clearly no album to take on the road; a little patience and imagination should pay off well here. Stop buying all those big Viking names and support the underground by sending $20 to:

Contact: No Colours Records, Postfach 32, 04541 Borna, Germany

(article published 12/8/2000)

10/23/2006 Q Kalis 6 Iuvenes - Triumph of the Will
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