Embracer of Dark Ages

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Nokturne's Embracer of Dark Ages opens with nefarious Satanic chanting backed by what sounds like a lawn sprinkler going haywire. Better call the studio engineer's mom and tell her to soak the lawn later. Evil black metal mayhem is afoot and Beelzebub will not be pleased with such distractions. Seriously though, folks, how realistic a concept of the Dark Ages can one possibly have while residing in Southern California? Well, apparently a pretty grim one considering Nokturne's hellish racket, which molests the listener with banshee screams, frenetic blastbeats, and de-tuned riffs that would make the great horned one himself grimace with happiness. All kidding aside, sanity-obliterating tracks like "Blood Purging Pentagram," "War Torch," and "Skinning Factory" take absolutely no prisoners, making most members of the Norwegian church-burning posse seem like relatively well-mannered young men by comparison. Your parents will love this.

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