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[Review] Crimson Moonlight – Divine Darkness

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Sweden’s Crimson Moonlight has long been a mainstay in the Christian metal scene.  They are well-known and well-loved, just like their peers in Antestor, Horde, and Slechtvalk.

Their sound has evolved through the years, from symphonic black metal to melodic black/death metal.  Divine Darkness, their first offering since 2007’s In Depths of Dreams Unconscious, is a pummeling tour de force.

It’s clear from the first moments of the opening track, “The Dogma of Chalcedon”, that the boys are back with a vengeance.  A momentary distorted vocal is suddenly replaced by a barrage of blast beats and shredding guitars.  Crimson Moonlight is known for its lightning-fast drumming, and this album has no shortage of this technique.

Track 5, “Voistinu Voskrese”, breaks the brutality and takes a more subdued, haunting approach.  Atmospheric guitar work seeps in, tribal drums bring the rhythm, and Pilgrim’s distorted wail chants, “Christos Voskrese! Voistinu Voskrese!”  (“Christ is risen!  Truly He is risen!)

The final track, “In Silence, In Chains”, is at different times grim, melodic, epic, and emotional.  The final line brings everything to a close in a more than satisfying way, an ode to the sacrifice of Christ… “It is finished, forever and ever…”

Every track exudes the brutality and melodic metal elements that we have come to expect from Crimson Moonlight.  I found myself being caught up in the songs, transported to another place, embraced by poetry, melancholy, and worship.

I simply cannot recommend this album enough.  Do yourself a favor: buy a physical copy of Divine Darkness, turn off the lights, crank the volume, and prepare yourself…

Recommended tracks: Divine Darkness, Voistinu Voskrese

Rating: 10/10

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