Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra
|©1999 The End Records
1. The Key To The Gates Of Apocalypses
Though I'm highly impressed with Mistiggo Varggoth Darkestra's The Key to the Gates of Apocalypses, I do have some gripes about this seventy-two minute excursion into darkness from the leader of Ukraine's Nokturnal Mortum. This CD is one track. That's right. Seventy-freakin-two minutes all on one track. Though supposedly the idea is that you don't index grand sweeping pieces of music, the major flaw is that people are very likely to play this CD less due to the inconvenience of the one track. While a band like Edge of Sanity barely got away with their forty-two minute Crimson, there is a full extra half hour to approach on The Key. One must commit to listening to the entire album in one sitting or be forced to hold down the fast forward button for a long time to hear that cool moment at 58:53. And unlike true ambient pieces of work which are unstructured to a large degree, M.V.D. is more or less a collection of songs tied together by ambient sounds and effects. So needless to say, pushing this all onto one track is very big mistake in my opinion and may cost this album some deserved attention because frankly, it's quite amazing.
Getting back to the individual behind this massive undertaking - one Knjaz (or Kniaz - I can't really read the annoying old English font too clearly) Varggoth - there is obviously a lot of thought put into the creation of the music here. Varggoth's main band Nokturnal Mortum has done much to impress me with their two releases on The End Records and he again hits a home run into the dark, deep chilly woods. The Key truly should be the follow-up to Nokturnal Mortum's Goat Horns as it continues more in that atmospheric, unique atmosphere than Nokturnal's true followup, To the Gates of Blasphemous Fire. The atmospherics, synths and ambient passages are more prominent here but the heavy song(s) are very much in the vein of Goat Horns. There is a definite Bathory feel to the midtempo moments, almost to a fault. Around the fifty-eight minute point of the CD, there is a short thirty second passage that completely lifts the bridge from Bathory's "Valhalla". That was rather disconcerting.
Regardless of that short bit, the composition of this album is remarkable and flows very well from beginning to end, at least for those who stick out the entire CD. When heard on headphones, the music is capable of transporting one to a new realm of attention. It is very effective and masterful. Needless to say that any Nokturnal Mortum fan must check out M.V.D. as well as anyone with a hankering to indulge in some very exceptional atmospheric/ambient black metal that may redefine the genre.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 06/1999