Of the Fallen Years
Heaven and Hell Records

This CD compiles the two releases from Of The Fallen which would later morph into Demontuary, a retrospective of Demontuary's early years if you will.  So what can you expect, symphonic black metal with leanings of brutal war metal as well.  The first 6 tracks are from the 1997 album called Of The Fallen.  The heavy synth and melodic black metal on album opener, From the Depths brings to mind similar artists such as Emperor, a smattering of Dimmu as well but focused more on the more guitar oriented style of Old Man's Child.  And while that amalgam of artists fits aptly to what your ears are hearing, at the same time it really doesn't fit either.  I mean you will listen to the material here, and all those bands will instantly spring to mind, however the way the guitars are being employed is different than all three.  But back to the songs, up next is Thou Art Flame.  A catchy main riff and some subtle synth spring into a bouncier rhythm that gallops and charges.  Shores of the Damned has a darker feel to the riffs and summons echoes of Twin Obscenity with its thicker riffs until some early Dark Tranquillity inspired melodic leads enter the fray.  The last real song off the first release on this comp is Spirits of the Dark Waters.  Sinister guitar and slightly flat keyboards get the track rolling.  Though the song in the end doesn't really have quite the impact of the previous material.  Up next are the 7 tracks recorded in 1999.  The production on these tracks seems lusher, and with Infinite Twilight we are immediately treated to piano instrumentation that smells of Dimmu's Stormblast.  The same can be said of the initial phase of Dawn of the Blackest Sun.  However the guitars are deeper and heavier, possessed of an almost death metal intensity.  As the track heads towards its climax there are bursts of drums and rapid-fire riffs.  Writhe In Vengeance slithers with reptilian riffs and thrashing patterns.  The whimsical synth line that closes out the song is almost comical.  An epic melody and mirroring synth line open Ancient Gods of Battles Past.  The song quickly plunges into a swirling melody before churning out some battering black metal riffage.  The folky acoustic guitar is a nice touch and adds to the drama of the track.  If you eat this style of symphonic black metal up, then Demontuary will pleasantly surprise and entrance you.  However, if this style is not for you, Demontuary aren't going to change your mind.  What you get is quality American symphonic black metal with catchy songwriting and a progressive edge.