LIMBONIC ART – Phantasmagoria

The entity known as LIMBONIC ART has quietly achieved a cult following amongst the black metal elite, but they have never been as popular or successful as some of their fellow Norwegian cohorts. After departing with long time collaborator and current MAYHEM guitarist, Morfeus, Daemon continues the journey alone – handling all composing and arranging duties for Phantasmagoria.

The keyboards on Phantasmagoria have been toned down slightly, as compared to previous albums, but the lush LIMBONIC ART atmosphere is still prevalent when needed. Daemon does an excellent job of writing catchier songs, as noted with the title track, “Crypt of Bereavement,” and “Curse of the Necromancer.” The vocals are as evil as ever, with Daemon’s vocals combining both power and enunciation while retaining his raspy voice. A problem that has plagued LIMBONIC ART in the past, however, is that their albums are too long, and this one clocks in at over an hour. This creates a lull in the album as the middle tracks, “Dark Winds” and “A World in Pandemonium,” are a bit slow and do nothing to alleviate the sudden drop in energy.

Fortunately, the music’s pace picks back up with speed and intensity as “Apocalyptic Manifestation” includes some excellent riffs, and segues nicely into the latter portion of the album. Hate filled, and enraged, Phantasmagoria ends with the epic track, “Astral Projection,” which includes all LIMBONIC ART characteristics – an eight minute track with blasting drums, true Norwegian black metal riffage, symphonic breakdowns, demonic vocals, and a fitting end to a long journey.

Previous LIMBONIC outings have been a mixed bag of black metal and symphonic parts that were a bit overkill and over the top, but Phantasmagoria has an ideal balance of both, with straight forward black metal and no flowery sounding keyboard parts. The production is much improved, and while not perfect, this album is a great listen for fans of the band, as well as TARTAROS and early COVENANT (Norway) fans. (Candlelight Records/Nocturnal Art Productions)

LIMBONIC ART – Legacy of Evil

The resurrected LIMBONIC ART originally made its name in the late 90’s back when black metal was starting to gain traction. Legacy of Evil, harkens back to that glorious time of dark, evil, musical mystique; a time where all black metal output was largely influenced by EMPEROR‘s In the Nightside Eclipse. Blast-beats, tremolo picking, high-pitched demonic screams, and symphonic embellishments are in order. Black metal today often favors a more in-your-face death metal approach (DIMMU BORGIR, latter-day EMPEROR) than the atmospherics of early, raw black metal. That has certainly crept into the production of Legacy of Evil where the guitars are more upfront in the mix. Subsequently, the symphonics aren’t quite as prominent, which is a bit of a downer. Fortunately, where there are synths, they still are as tasty as ever. The long orchestral synth intro of “Twilight Omen” is what the album is more in need of. Separating LIMBONIC ART from the pack, however, are their use of a drum machine in lieu of a live drummer. Use of a drum machine is a move often met with disdain in the realms of metal, though LIMBONIC ART have always executed with as much of an organic feel as is possible with programmed percussion. Despite the high-tempo “drumming,” the album does not suffer from annoying “clicky-ness.” Not all is high-speed insanity, though. LIMBONIC ART offer varying tempos within songs and even manage to slow things down entirely with “Grace by Torments.” Legacy of Evil is a welcome return; it’s a solid album that possesses all the elements of LIMBONIC ART and late 90’s black metal. Their signature synth-domination, however, is sorely missed. (Nocturnal Art Productions)

LIMBONIC ART: Back from the Dead

Symphonic black metal masters, LIMBONIC ART, return from the dead! On 06.06.06 the two members, Daemon and Morfeus, decided to bring back the dark powerful entity LIMBONIC ART.

Since then a new album has been written and recorded. The band has re-signed with Nocturnal Art Productions/Candlelight Records, and the comeback album, Legacy of Evil, is set for release summer 2007.