Godless North - _Summon the Age of Supremacy_
(Breath of Night Records, 2002)
by: Matthias Noll (6 out of 10)
Like the majority of today's black metal hordes, Godless North from Canada do not really explore the genre beyond the limits that the second wave reached almost ten years ago. At least the arsenal of stage names and type of weaponry still seems to know no limits, and so we are introduced to Othalaz von Armageddos providing "Ancient Archetypal Summonings and guitars" and Oblak Ilking manning the "Berserkerish Warhammers". Excellent, even though the "...and guitars" bit already seems to show a certain lack of imagination and determination. Once summoned, 90% of the Age of Supremacy turns out to be another one of the forgotten brethren of _Transylvanian Hunger_. There's a little bit of early Gorgoroth shining through during "The Winter of Cleansing" and a few painfully uneventful, slower paced Burzum-ish parts here and there. Sound-wise things are trebly and raw, but a bit too distant and powerless. The main problem I have with _Summon the Age of Supremacy_ is that Godless North do not seem to be aware of when to pull the plug. The _Transylvanian Hunger_ school depends on very repetitive and minimalist ingredients, which when done right transport the listener to cold and ugly otherworldly places. Godless North got the repetitive and minimalistic part of the formula right, but they fail because their songs end up in the six to seven minute range. Usually about four minutes into the song, the well-achieved trance turns into much too comfortable sleep. When reaching the five and a half minute mark, the desire to shout "shut up and stop playing, that's enough already" sometimes becomes as "berserkerish" as Oblak Ilking's merciless treatment of the snare. There's just not enough substance behind these Canadians' material to pull such long songs off successfully. I believe it was Michael Blenkarn from Esoterica magazine who called Godless North anaemic, an adjective which hits the nail on the head so perfectly that I want to use it here as well. A thirty-five minute version of this fifty-two minute album could have been well worth 7 out of 10 for me.

(article published 11/5/2003)

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