Alghazanth
Osiris - Typhon Unmasked

Many will find Finland’s Alghazanth hard not to compare to Dimmu Borgir. Alghazanth formed late in 1995 and, after more than their share of line-up changes, finally released their debut in late 1999. This is their third full-length in little more than two years, – quite prolific for a band plagued by line-up changes, which are not over yet. Since the new album has released, Veilroth has left, Grimort has moved to guitar, and new bassist Infection has joined.

Osiris – Typhon Unmasked is well performed, technical black metal with chaotic and melodic elements. Once again they offer nothing new to the genre, but once again they showcase strong musicianship. Also once again, the mix is less than perfect. The vocals are buried and the synths are too loud, making it difficult to pick out the individual guitar lines in many places. The vocals are nothing special, but not really being able to hear them is an annoyance. Overcoming the production faults, what we have is a quick pace without being overly aggressive. Only the harshness of the vocals adds any intensity; lack of intensity is actually not a problem here.

The music is quite enjoyable and interesting enough to warrant repeated listening, however. Slow passages fit well with fast breaks and dispel the monotonousness of the drumming, which helps song flow. The guitar playing is quite nice and for the most part the synths fill in without taking over. If it wasn’t for the tone of the lyrics I wouldn’t say a brutal edge was necessary. Musically it works quite beautifully as melodic upbeat music, which is probably a sacrilegious thing to say about a black metal band. “Mercurian Soulscapes” has some clean vocals which are not very clear due to poor production values. With lines like, “Patiently observing those we desire to hunt fully prepared to unleash our innermost demons to violate, to ravish and to annihilate,” some aggression seems appropriate, but as I said, the music is interesting enough to keep your attention while waiting patiently for the brutality that never comes. “My Twin of Disorder” uses blastbeats to set the pace and guitars chug along, but the keys carry the melodies, quite memorable actually.

As I said, Alghazanth is musically quite accomplished, but the production hurts. And that, in the end, may affect the band’s standing in literally a sea of competitors. Proceed only if you’re a completist.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
September 7th, 2001

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