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Parakletos - Offerlammets Makt

Rivel Records

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I guess I must say that I'm a bit ashamed.  When I first heard the early sound clips of Parakletos, I thought they sounded okay, but not really anything all that special.  After receiving this CD in the mail though, I gotta say that this is much better than what I was expecting.  This Finnish, two-man band has created a very solid, dark, and haunting and even beautiful black metal album that has been getting tons of play time in my CD player in the week and a half that I've had this.
 
If you are fans of early Crimson Moonlight, early Vaakevandring, Dimmu Borgir, with maybe a touch of Antestor, this album should appeal to you.  The band really creates some great atmosphere on this disc.  The music is a mixture of the ultra fast and some more mid-paced and even slower paced black metal.  The guitars have a somewhat underground sound to them, but they do sound powerful enough to not be considered wimpy by any means.  The band mixes in a good deal of keyboards and even a little acoustic guitar, flute, and violin.  All of these add to the emotional level of the music as do the vocals.  I'm not sure what they are saying since the lyrics are all in some Scandinavian language (maybe Swedish or Finnish), but you can sense a passion in the vocal delivery...ala Antestor.  Occassionally, they will utilize some clean spoken vocals that sound really good.  The more extreme vocals are very blackish in style, but at times they have a growl to them to give an almost blackish death feel.  Regardless, they sound excellent.  Probably the biggest down point is that fact that the band uses drum programming.  While it sounds okay, it's not the best I've heard.  Here's hoping they find a real drummer next time around.
 
As far as production and packaging, the production is not perfect, but very listenable and shouldn't disappoint anyone.  And the packaging is very nice with an eight-page, full color booklet with lyrics, band photo, and an excellent cover.
 
I must say that I am very happy that I was wrong with my initial impression of this band.  This is a quality black metal album that I would have no problem letting any of my extreme metal friends hear.  I certainly hope that Parakletos continues making more of this style of music in the future.  (Review by Matt) 

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