COUNTESS - On Wings Of Defiance CD
Genre: Black Metal
The Swedish had Quorthon, Norway still has Varg but the Netherlands has Orlok who since the early nineties has made his act COUNTESS the in between band to BATHORY and BURZUM. To his credit Orlok, who performs all instruments and sings, has kept COUNTESS not only alive for close to thirty years but has released over a dozen full lengths as well as other material on short format. Plus there are countless numbers of rare unreleased material always lurking about. For the most part Orlok has also always stuck to the traditional black metal template. That of course has made him a man with no middle ground dwellers between those who like COUNTESS and those who don't. I'm one of the strange ones who has liked his material ever since The Return of the Horned One. Therefore any new COUNTESS is probably going to be interesting as well as expected.
On Wings Of Defiance is another COUNTESS release which will not surprise anyone who has been keeping up with Orlok's more recent releases. The man is growing more epic in his age these days and it shows on here with a release moving closer to BATHORY territory. For starters the cover art is amazing and everything you wanna know about the music lies within what you see on the cover. Instead of vikings Orlok concentrates on the barbarianism of older European tribes and the battles they fought. I believe Wings Of Defiance is more of a concept piece heaping praise on the pagan. Of course this could not be carried out successfully if it wasn't for the key elements, Orlok's harsh inhuman vocals joined with his sweeping guitar leads as well as hornets' nest atmospheric rhythms and plenty of keyboards to hold everything together. That's something the drum machine Orlok employs on here can't do.
Just to ruin your groove On Wings of Defiance slowly builds up over the first seven tracks till the two most important ones, "An Emperor's Stand" and the title cut leave you pounding your chest readying yourself for a real battle. May I suggest joining the Army. Look how well I turned out. Speaking of which after all the battlefield carnage is done with there's two more cuts. Both cuts are covers which bring about the feeling of a celebration. Although I thought the sixth cut on here, "Foggy Dew", was also a cover as well as being an old Irish folk tune. Either way Orlok lets loose with a DEMON cover of "Night of the Demon" followed by the most filthiest cover of VENOM's "In League with Satan" I ever heard. The thing was so raw you could get a piece of bread and soak up the blood from the plate.
Order info: http://www.witches-brew.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=2792