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Artist: Twilight

Album: Twilight

Label: Southern Lord

Review date: Oct. 10, 2005

For reasons unknown, the most arguably talented and relevant U.S. Black Metal proponents have pooled resources, swapped duties, and produced an undeniably potent record. Operating under the moniker “Twilight,” Messrs Malefic (Xasthur), Wrest (Leviathan/Lurker of Chalice), Hildolf (Draugar), Imperial (Kreig) and Azentrius (Nachtmystium) put forth a valiant effort to homogenize their talents and sound. Predictably, they fall short of uniformity – a trivial criticism considering how fucking great this record really is.

The vocal styles are quite disparate, as is the guitar playing, bass playing, and drum programming. A small degree of familiarity with the aforementioned will dispel any mystery: Each cut brings instant recognition. That’s Malefic; that’s Wrest; that’s Hildolf, et cetera.

Twilight has its share of great tracks, with the necrotic ompah of “Exact Agony, Take Life” mimicking Possessed’s “March to Die;” “Larval Liaise” upping the ambient quotient, melding Malefic’s night hag howl with thousand pound thuds reminiscent of one-time Samhain drummer, London May. “Hopeless Etheride” shares the ax shred and amphetamine’d pace of Sabbat’s “The Letter from Death,” with indefatigable thrash that recalls the exceedingly tasteful and nasty string work of the Brothers Dambra. The final track, “Beyond Light (Beautiful and Malignant)” is also Twilight’s finest, beginning with brightly pulsating guitars that quickly drop into a funerary march tipping a hat to elder masters Thergothon. The pace eventually quickens, resulting in the powerful mid-tempo buzz that Kanwulf’s Nargaroth does so well.

Twilight is another victory for Greg Anderson’s Southern Lord, and for USBM in general. As we continue to clean the shit off of our fans stateside, yank Black Metallers grow stronger, threatening to take the “Gospel of the Horns” from the Scandinavians for good.

By Stewart Voegtlin

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