1349 - _Liberation_
(Candlelight, 2003)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
If venomous, shrill black metal is not your thing, then you might as well forget about 1349. Otheriwse, you are likely to feel at least somewhat intrigued by the insanely fast drumming courtesy of Satyricon's Frost (it really needs to be heard to be believed) and the way _Liberation_ sometimes sounds like a mix of Ulver's black masterpiece _Nattens Madrigal_ and Satyricon. The emotional charge is not quite the same as that of the Ulver album, but the similarities between the two go a bit deeper than the extremely harsh production: the shredding guitars are by no means devoid of well thought-out riffs and leads, and combine with the often almost disorienting speed of the drum patterns to create a structure of considerable potential. If guitars, vocals and drumming are all barbed wire, rusty razors and machine gun fire, the more rocking Satyricon-like riffs and choruses that occasionally surface (e.g. "Riders of the Apocalypse", "Legion") help balance things somewhat. Make no mistake, however -- this is not an easy album to like if you are used to bassy death metal or clean melodic metal. The production is not such that the guitars or drums are devoid of power, but it takes some getting used to before you can enjoy all the technicality and fury on offer. Indeed, getting past the production barrier opens up rewards in the shape of some great, memorable guitar passages (e.g. "Manifest", "I Breathe Spears"), often hysterically fast but impeccably tight drumming, and ultimately an album that strikes the balance between uncompromising extremity and musical enjoyment quite well -- much like Anaal Nathrakh have done recently. _Liberation_ is definitely worth checking out if you can handle its barbed wire.

(article published 27/10/2003)

1/31/2008 J Smit 1349: Mental Mercury
5/21/2009 J Smit 6 1349 - Revelations of the Black Flame
10/17/2005 J Smit 8 1349 - Hellfire
3/29/2015 P Schwarz 1349 Trigger the Boredom
9/20/2006 T DePalma Celtic Frost / 1349 Congregation of the Wicked
12/7/2005 J Smit Gorgoroth / 1349 Twlight of the (Black Metal) Idols
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