The latest album of the creative soul behind arguably the best band to carry the ‘NSBM’ stigma — Portland’s Fanisk — sees Eldrig take their previously rather neoclassical influences even further. In fact, though I have enjoyed Eldrig’s earlier efforts, the first impression of Mysterion is that it there are moments that bring to mind less flattering references such as cheesy synth-enthusiasts Dimmu Borgir and even (*shivers*) progressive metal. Fortunately, Eldrig is a good bit more sophisticated than that, and further listens reveal the highly evolved sense of song structure that has always been a strong point of Eldrig and Fanisk. This, and the trademark epic crescendos, use of organs (though i suppose not very ‘organic’ organs) and geometric mysticism in both lyrics, presentation and arrangement make this as good a release as any of Eldrig’s. Still, my hope is that the promised Fanisk album Insularum will be the one that sets a new standard in the neoclassical/symphonic black metal genre.

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