Spartan cover-art. It has a castle. And name of band and album. On back-cover there is tracklist. One side holds two tracks, other one.

Raate presents atmospheric black metal in vein of Burzum. I find the production values of the band way better than what Varg has ever done. You can hear every note of guitar clearly and every hit of the drums. Vocals are distorted and don't really fit into the music.

The A-side holds two tracks and is worse than side B. The two tracks feel disjointed and too short. The vocals don't fit the atmosphere and ruin these two tracks for me.

Side B is single track split into parts seperated by ambience. There is no vocals. Just guitars, drums and ambience. This is the heart of the album for me and the reason why this should be bought. This is atmospheric black metal done right. It never goes into droning, it is constantly moving, but it still evokes atmosphere unlike any other.

Of course there is no A or B side marked. Otherwise the artwork, which I already spoke of, works perfectly. It doesn't try too much by having some flashy pictures of woods or paintins etc. It has just a castle, nothing else. On the lyric sheet there is on the other side a band picture. No corpsepaint, just two normal looking fellows.

If you are into atmospheric black metal, in vein of Burzum, get this. Even if you're not into atmospheric black metal, get this because this might change how you look at the genre.

8 / 10