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Sanctifica - Spirit of Purity

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There has been a lot of black metal bands surfacing recently in the Christian music scene, and with Santifica, we are getting one of the best yet. Santifica's "Spirit of Purity" is one terrific black metal album. It is more pure black metal then a lot of other Christian groups which incorporate death metal and other styles, but still would not be what you'd really call, pure black metal.  This album is full of extreme metal that will leave you wanting more. At times Santifica gets kinda fast, but overall this is more mid-paced black metal. The screeching black vocals are very well done and very aggressive, nothing extremely original, but very well done. The album starts off with "Riket" (The Empire). A soft keyboard begins things before they rip your face off with intensity. Two of my favorite songs, "The Dark Desires" and "Released from Pain" are next.  Both are very awesome songs. All of the songs on this album have a lot of keyboards, but I don't feel like they dominate, like they do with some other black metal bands. They do more to compliment the aggressive music and make things much more interesting. Most of the keys will be playing along with the heavy stuff.  Very often will they stand alone.  Santifica pretty much pummels you from beginning to end on this album.  All of the lyrics in the inside booklet are written in English, but two of the songs, "Riket" and "Allharskaren" (The Emperor) are sung in Swedish.  The song "The Wanderer", which closes the album starts off with a haunting keyboard intro which reminds me somewhat of something Saviour Machine would do.  Later in the song we hear the only deviation from black vocals, where clean vocals end the song.  They are very well done and fit very nicely.  The singer sounds almost exactly like another singer I've heard before, but I just can't think of who it is (and it's driving me nuts).  The song ends with a soft acoustic guitar that slowly fades out.  My only complaint here would be the production, which kinda sounds muddy at times.  Overall, I'd say that if you enjoy black metal, then this is an album you do not want to pass up.  (Review by Matt) 

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