The Complex Bewitchment

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Mactatus is slick. Having the gall to coalesce Emperor with Dimmu Borgir is a risky move at best. Those bands form the current backbone for progressive black metal, and imitators often fade faster than they flicker, which is usually an album or two. Well, here stands Mactatus with their second release, and proud they stand indeed. Talented and intelligent, they prove more than capable in producing beautifully orchestrated music. Pushing the envelope, they merge over the top keyboards with a straightforward IX Equilibrium sound, all the while retaining an underground sharpness, sorely missed in mainstream metal. The album is littered with brutal vocals, tight drumming, mid-paced guitar heroics, and near perfect synths. These guys are the poster boys for the "How to..." Black Metal kits, currently being sold out of Cradle's tour van. Not to say that Mactatus is mediocre or unoriginal -- indeed they are very professional and well versed in black metal -- but just super polished. This can make the album flat at times, as song structures cling tight, often unmovable. "Speak the Word of the Winds" breaks the mold with a crafty, wry use of sampling and Gehenna guitar crunch, while the battle ready "Dance of Might" weaves a whimsical spell, not to be missed, which closes The Complex Bewitchment. Not as monumental as their previous effort, Provenance of Cruelty, Mactatus continues to build upon a foundation, which should help keep them afloat in that big, white love boat, known as black metal.

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