Lord Theynian's solo-band continues from where it left off at on its previous release, the split with Goats Of Doom which featured three songs from Dødkvlt. This continuation goes to the extent that III's track listing begins at four, not one. Perhaps I'm not the only one who was reminded of (the true) Mayhem's "Grand Declaration of War" regarding this aspect.

Onto the music, which indeed follows the similar path that was trod on the aforementioned split: the songs are long, range from quiet calmness to rough violence, and all the way to epic black metal with grand synth-orchestrations. From the synths and programmed drums to the nicely varying riffs and vocals, everything is executed with care and experience. There's plenty to hear, yet nothing's there just for the sake of filling the tracks with useless mass. Every moving part has a purpose.

What separates this album and the split which proceeded it is that this one's a lot better. The soundscape is stronger and has more variation, as do the riffs and vocals. Despite the overall increased boldness and progressive riffing, the songs are tightly knit with just enough of breathing space and pauses, and the aggression, catchiness and epic synths are pretty much in a perfect balance. It's especially notable how fluent the transitions from one song to another are.

Even though the songs keep the listener in their grip throughout each mood and from total progression and grandeour to the actually pretty catchy moments, the album is still a rather demanding listening experience due to its length. It's not something that you'd put on just as background music, but something that you need to focus on for an hour at a time in order for the album to fully unleash its potential. Personally, I found the album to be worth the time.

Uplifting and progressive, looming and threatening, minimalistic and grand... this album has it all, delivered with a lot of originality. It's not a perfect piece and I certainly would've enjoyed it more if it were more concise, but that's just a personal preference. If you're into modern black metal and you've got a moderately long attention span, there isn't a reason for you to skip it. An extra mention is to be given for the absolutely splendid visual side by Maxime Taccardi.

9+ / 10