This album has done something which is very rare...and bands really shouldn't do this.
Now I've know these guys for a while now, and I don't have their first 2 album,s but I've heard songs from each, and I really like them.When I saw this album in a CD shop, I had to get it, just to kind of at leat own something from these guys.
I sat down ready to listen away, and then regretted it. For half an hour I was thinking, "Oh my God, this is just boring. And not that good." By the 4th song, I kind of wanted to turn it off, but only one album has actually made me turn a CD off before I finished it before (Metallica's Death Magnetic, that final instrumental was just boring as hell). Then track 5 came on and I went "This is actually a really good song"...and then it got better as each track went on.
That's really not a nice thing to do to someone. Torture them slightly for half and hour, and then pamper them the next. Sadly thats what happened. The first 4 songs are just not that great, in fact, very tedious at times, and quite annoying. Then the last 4 are so good that it kind of makes you regret thinking such bad thoughts about the band beforehand.
Now these guys are progressive metal...kind of...sort off. Well its hard to even really label these guys. Their unqiue...yet you can hear their influences clearly, yet also make them their own sound. It's great what they do, but hard when you want to describe them. I always thought they sounded like Nevermore at times, but that's mainly because of the vocals. To be honest, their just a metal band, with no real sub genre, although they do have lengthy tracks, and I mean all of their songs are over 5 minutes and can even reach the 10 minute mark. The guys can oddly enough pull it off. How they do it, I don't know, it just seems to work.
The album also seems to be a concept album, dealing with themes of existentionalism (for the first 4 songs, it really suits the mood), creation, existence, religion, time and purpose of life.
Now for the first half an hour, you will start to look like the girl on the cover...but don't worry...soon you'll like this ...> :D
It's also good to see a band from Norway, where the members don't have silly black metal nicknames (if i had a black metal nickname it would be Ygg, cause its Norwegian for the wicked one...ooooohhhh)
Now if you do buy this album, warning...it does get good. I mean really good.
1. On Ancient Ground - I have to admit, this main riff is kick ass. The song builds up pretty well at times, but the chorus is annoying. The song is cheesy at times, and the words "ancicent" "ground" and "SACRIFICE!" are said about a billion times, and they don't get better with repitition. Although...that is one good riff. 8/10
2. The Abandoned One - I like the Metallica esque chugging in the main riff. Nice enough chorus, but it's quite lifeless really, and it only makes the song more boring. 7/10
3. Becoming Of Man - The dramaticism is pretty cool. The lyrics and concept are pretty interesting. The song isn't that bad, and can be pretty cool at times, but it's still a bit bland now and then. 7/10
4. Payment Of Existence - Some of the changes are very random and don't make sense. Some kick ass riffs, and some ok moments, I guess. Pretty forgetfull.
5. Through The Labryinth Of Years - THE CHANGEAROUND!!! The song is really good. The chorus is really kick ass, especially the bridge after it. I love the melodic feel to it too. 10/10
6. Raven's Cry - I really didn't expect antything from this song, cause the title seemed a bit clichéd. But it just really turns into something pretty amazing. The intro is really cool, and the chorus kicks alot of ass. I love how the song changes from quite a slow song into a very kick ass metal song. The instrumental section also is really impressive, cause it really shows what these guys are capable of. Great arrangement, and some really kick ass vocals, especially in the chorus. 10/10
7. Unpredicabilities Of Life - Best song on the album in my opinion. The main riff is really kick ass. The chorus is amazing and the build up throughout the song really is killer. The vocals are also amazing, especially in the chorus. 10/10
8. Stone Carved Eyes - Wow! That intro is one hell of a way to start a song. Great chorus and a great arrangement keeping you on your feet. It's also not that repetitive, so it intrigues you more.
CONCLUSION: If this was an e.p...and the last 4 songs where on it, I would give it 4 or even a 5. But because the first half is very week, 3 will have to do (the first half would get a 2 at the most). I was gonna sell this album...but now I might keep it...just for those last 4 songs.