ImhotepAh, the underground. It never seems to fail on a listener hungry for the latest news. Though, an album released a year ago is not exactly news. Then again, when did quality have any deadline, except for those big bands that need to sell at lot the first week only to wither when the next big release is online? Not that big bands don't release quality releases, but more often than not I feel that bigger bands release products while smaller bands that are lurking in the underground release whole-heartedly albums where they put their soul, they skills and probably the little money they have into it.
Lord Shades seems to be such an underground band. "The Rise Of Meldral-Nok" is a concept album, being a second chapter in a story. The debut was unleashed upon us back in 2008. I haven't heard that one, but this new one broadcasts music that has survived several spins. The basic death metal is one thing, but where Lord Shades step out of the ordinary is when they visit doomier places. The first minutes of "Ancient Fears" are awesome, and could easily have been minutes of highlight on the latest Septicflesh masterpiece. Majestic and supreme. There are some other highlights as well during "The Rise Of Meldral-Nok", even though none reaches the first minutes of "Ancient Fears".
The album's sound is heavy, but here and there I feel that the drum sound is too sterile. I even thought that they were made by a drum computer, but there are no information of that so I stick to the sterile sound. Great vocals, variation and an album that stands through several listenings. If they only slowed down on the fast death metal, because Lord Shades is definitely best when the music is slower. Roy Kristensen