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Review: Bal-Sagoth - A Black Moon Broods Over Lemuria
A Black Moon Broods Over Lemuria

Label: Cacophonous Records
Year released: 1995
Duration: 55:06
Tracks: 10
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: July 21, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
A Black Moon Broods Over Lemuria

Rated 4.11/5 (82.22%) (27 Votes)

It's very hard to believe this was released waaaaaay back in 1995, the veritable heart of the metal dark ages. Grunge, nu-crapola and alt-rock were big, and this was the year the mighty Bal-Sagoth first unleashed their vision on a completely unsuspecting world. In retrospect, looking at the state of metal at the time, the audacity and originality of this album stand out sharply.

For a first album, "Black Moon" is highly developed and complex, with the signature Bal-Sagoth sound already in full force. This CD is perhaps a little blastier and less melodic than later works, but it's still unmistakably Bal-Sagoth. The theatrical narrative passages, the cool symphonic keys and the cheesy fantasy/barbarian lyrics I love so well are all here. "Dreaming of Atlantean Spires", the title track, and "Enthroned in the Temple of the Serpent Kings" can hold their heads up among the best songs in the Bal-Sagoth catalog. The production is good, if not quite as full as on later albums. Fans of the band can buy this without hesitation, if they haven't already. And this is a strong album with very consistent songwriting, so it would serve you just fine as an introduction to the band.

The CD package is classy, especially for a new band at that time. The cover art is cool, and the extensive lyrics are all included. The band picture is kind of goofy, but what do you really expect?

I love Bal-Sagoth, so this album is a no-brainer for me. I don't like this one quite as well as the following "Starfire Burning", but if you like one Bal-Sagoth album, you can be pretty sure you'll like the rest of them. This year we celebrate ten glorious years of the awesome Bal-Sagoth, so join me for a hearty pull of mead, a curse upon false metal, and a shout to the Gods of the North. Blodu ok Jarna!

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