|©1997 Nocturnal Art Productions
1. Beneath The Burial Surface
2. Moon In The Scorpio
3. Through Gleams Of Death
4. In Mourning Mystique
5. Beyond The Candles Burning
6. Darkzone Martyrium
Best known possibly because they signed onto Nocturnal Art Productions, the label owned by Emperor's Samoth, Limbonic Art is a two piece band that apparently looked at the trend against keyboards in black metal and thought, "Oh, the hell with it." Moon in the Scorpio, their 1997 debut, is a towering inferno of keyboard and synth power with the guitar acting as a minor blur behind the melodrama created by the keyboards. The two piece band obviously did not look themselves in the mirror and thought, "Maybe we shouldn't go so overboard with this."
Despite the possible pretention presented by the keyboard dependency, Moon in the Scorpio is a quite decent record. While it's hard to pick out precisely who they may sound the most similar to, the guitars are sort of like a slowed down early Emperor, the vocals are typical Norwegian troll noises and the keyboards cover a lot of ground, sort of like Dimmu Borgir with two keyboards and only one guitar. If anything, the only other album this even reminds of is Nokturnal Mortum's Goat Horns. The songs are rather lengthy, often hitting that ten to fifteen minute mark, so you are required to wear your Pay Attention Cap in order to sit through this one. Much of the music is a rumbling, midpaced affair that winds you through the song, with occasional atmospheric, neo-ambient passages with either strange chanting or sound effects vying for attention. The keyboard melodies aren't particularly folk oriented or faux classical, but they are strong and carry the songs fairly well.
I won't go and call Moon in the Scorpio a full blown masterpiece, but it's a quite enjoyable effort for what it is. Their sound definitely will appeal to anyone who likes the mixing of keyboards with black metal influence and is definitely worth searching out.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 08/2001
|©1998 Nocturnal Art Productions
1. In Abhorrence Dementia
2. A Demonoid Virtue
3. A Venomous Of Profane Grace
4. When Mind And Flesh Departs
5. Deathtrip To A Mirage Asylum
6. Under Burdens Of Life`s Holocaust
8. Behind The Mask Obscure
9. Misanthrophic Spectrum
Norway's Limbonic Art, one of several bands signed onto Samoth's label, Nocturnal Art Productions, deliver an enticing and exotic album, one that reminds the listener how truly potent keyboards are in underground metal: In Abhorrence Dementia. Morfeus is the "keymaster" here - why don't they just refer to him as a keyboard player? "Keymaster" is pompous and very silly, if you ask me. Anyway, the deluge of keyboard melodies, flowing effortlessly up and down the scale, immediately siezes the listener's attention and serves as the focus of the music. In this respect, Limbonic Art are different from other keyboard-carrying black metal bands, many of whom use the instrument as a harmonic accompaniment to the guitar rhythm. Smart decision by the two-man band, as the overwhelming keyboards hide the rather stale and uninspired guitar parts. I believe they use a drum machine, so if you don't like drum machines, beware! The vocal delivery, for the most part, is stereotypical black metal screeching, with chant-like singing on occasion. The lyrics are well-written, albeit somewhat cryptic. Maybe the band should get a better Norwegian-English dictionary the next time around. Their rants are mostly about the glory of Satan, so you get the idea. A very cold, mechanical production imparts a stellar, cosmic feeling. Pretty good, though the guitars should have been higher in the mix, or re-recorded, because it is sometimes difficult to make them out from the rest of the music. No particular tracks stand out; all of them are comparable to each other. All in all, a good, original album, one that is recommended for fans of Samael, Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, and other keyboard-heavy bands.
Review by Jeffrey Shyu
Review date: 08/1999