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Review: Hortus Animae - Waltzing Mephisto
Hortus Animae
Waltzing Mephisto

Label: Black Lotus Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 46:34
Tracks: 7
Genre: Progressive Metal


Review online: July 18, 2003
Reviewed by: Christian Renner
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 4/5 (80%) (7 Votes)

Well here we go again with an album that simply knocked me on my ass when I was expecting something completely different. With a name like Hortus Animae and their release entitled Waltzing Mephisto what would you normally expect to hear? I was thinking very aggressive black metal with no real differences between a ton of other bands out there. Well what I ended up with was a mixture of black metal with a little bit of prog and goth. Now before you start thinking that mixing of those three has simply got to suck and move on to the next review hold on just a minute. I have to admit that my first thought was not "cool! Something very original" it was more like "there is no damn way these guys are going to be able to pull that off…this is going to suck.". Well after listening to this through just the first half of the album I have come to realize that not only are these guys able to pull this off but they do so EXTREMELY well.

For the most part this is still pretty heavy ass aggressive black metal but the breakdown or interlude sections of the disc are pure prog/goth metal through and through although with a harder edged guitar riff to accompany these slower passages. The songwriting is absolutely brilliant to be able to mesh these very differing genre’s together and make them mesh so seamlessly. There never seems to be any loss of focus and every part seems to have a very distinct part to play in the overall scheme of the song. I also have to mention the stellar work of the drummer on this one. They are provided by none other than GroM (Ancient and Doomsword) who is very highly regarded within the metal community and on this album he really shows why exactly that is.

Overall if you like the black metal genre but have a open mind on what directions this should take you should really check into this album. On the other hand if you happen to hate black metal you may still find this interesting and it could very well change your mind. Highly Recommended.

More about Hortus Animae...
Review: Funeral Nation MMXII (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Waltzing Mephisto 20th Anniversary (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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