.. AND I thought early black metal movement in Norway was DONE after "Under a Funeral Moon" and all these crazy burnings, killing.. but this album really captures the atmosphere of medieval times, plague epidemic echoes. Even darker sounds adds Frost with his sensitive drumming. Listen what kind of magic he does with his feet and hands on "Walk The Path Of Sorrow" or on beginning of "Into The Mighty Forest" and ending of “Taakeslottet” Back then, they did not bring something revolutionary, but fresh with their own identity (which should be a standard for professional band) Commenting the sound "quality" of early Norwegian black metal movement, when they were truly against top notch death metal production, seems ironic to me. Here is what kind of feel you get, not sound quality, per say.
Earliest, limited 1994 run: High frs are extremely present here (which is for benefit, I want to hear Satyr´s agony black metal scream, he´s great singer; mid, ok; lower are here with feel of clarity. Guitars freezing cold, Frost bass drum feels alive, you sense every single drum beat he did, symbals in my opinion could be just a little higher in the mix, same as the bass (Here, I feel like Frost is practising right in my room)
Napalm reissue: High frs are much much lower; mid improved; lower frs improved but lost clarity, only one thing they did fantastic job was on improve symbals presence, it lacks kind of sharpness and clarity compared to the earliest run.
At one point, I was really thinking about purchasing the reissue, but first when I saw the cover art: "Wou, wou, wait what the hell they were thinking?" Second, then I said to myself, just wait for vinyl rips and comments of collectors, and my patience was rewarded by not losing 22€ plus with shipping (currently, reissue is out of the stock in Napalm website) Comparing it to recent reissues, by overall feel of this dark, melancholy music, I think this is the best OFFICIAL version ON VINYL you can find. Sry, but if you want authentic, truly dark sound you have pay hell amount of money (past 2 years I have found on ebay incomplete version of this pressing)
So far.. this is the GO TO official version on vinyl. I work as a graphic designer and the earliest run feel more underground, and reissue more commercial.
4/5 stars, ´cause the best effort was yet to come.
Its really time for professional re-press keeping original artwork and bringing back this masterpiece to fans all over the world ! I am 45. I hope i will be still alive in time of reissue on vinyl. I stopped listen to cds long time ago.. Hey! true black metal fans, push your contacts and responsible people for decision.
Dark Medieval Times is a concept based upon the middle ages, Svartedauen 1349, and when the Vikings ruled the Northern land. The Music was created in my darkest hours and has its source in overflowing medieval belief. Still the Music is timeless and independent. Inspiration is taken from the great landscapes of Norway, and both Lyrics and Music are keys to the ultimate forces of time. Open the gate to Dark Medieval Times and bring forth to the domains of Satyricon, two great spears and a flag of dominion and hate. Dark Medieval Times is Dark Medieval Music for the true ancient Vikings of Norge. Satyr Wongraven