2023 re-issue of the Norwegian black metal classic; Comes with original cover artwork, refreshed layout, and for the first time properly crediting Aldrahn, one of the masterminds behind this black metal pillar. The most complete version to date!
(Review borrowed from Metal Archives, written by Lord_Jotun)
Old Man's Child did already impress me with their debut mcd "In the Shades Of Life", and they further proved their point with their debut album, "Born Of The Flickering". There is no doubt that Galder and his minions, despite being classified as Melodic Black Metal, definitely have their own thing going, thanks to strong songwriting and impressive musicianship. The band retained most of the line-up of the previous record, but replaced bassist Brynjard Tristan (then in Dimmu Borgir) with Gonde (of Minas Tirith and Tulus), which proves to be a worthy replacement with his impressive performance. Everyone in the band is 100% into it, and it shows. The album also has a special guest in Aldrahn (DHG), who contributes with lyrics and vocals in several song, often creating perverse duets with Galder behind the microphone.
"Demons of the Thorncastle" opens with a great groove backed by solid guitar work which in turn goes into a fierce blastig part of the verse; the balance between aggression and melody is guaranteed by the great melodic scope of the riffs. Keyboards add a mysterious background in the breaks, and even some female chanting complete the picture with some extra depth. The song also has a fantastic slow section, created by a clever piano interlude for a majestic solo to soar above.
"Swallowed by a Buried One" is introduced by an aggressive rhythm (once paired with a very melodic riff) which soon slows down for the more plodding verse section; Aldrahn makes his first appearance with some clean chants but soon unleashes his well known ferocious voice. Gonde's bass is a constant presence which often functions as a melodic component along with the guitars.
The title track begins without warning with the first verse: a fantastic riff where Galder's rasping voice is backed by Aldrahn's harmonized clean part, followed by an enthralling acoustic guitar part. Very soon, however, the shredding begins, Galder and Jardar picking insane over Tjodalv's pounding. The rhythm then switches back to a slower pace for the second verse, and the great instrumental part that follows: again, Gonde makes a great contribution to the overall depth, and acoutic guitars and distant keyboards come in and out for an artistic finishing touch.
"King of the Dark" age brings on a more menacing and aggressive atmosphere, but doesn't dismiss the melodic aspect thanks to interesting guitar lines and a fantastic break where a clever synth line is backed once again by Gonde's bass. A haunting acoustic break occupies the middle of the song, before gong into a great build up preparing the re-entry of the faster part.
"Wounds from the Night of Magic" is the intrumental that follows, consisting of a refined classical guitar part performed over an eerie background of synths, acoustic guitars and occasional piano interventions.
The tranquillity abruptly ends with "On Through the Desert Storm", a track that lives up to its menacing title with the most fast and furious parts so far, of course alternated with great melodic interludes; Galder's vocal part is really cool on this one, coninuosly switching between his standard snarl and a distorted growl. Tremolo picked lines complete the aggressive sections, while acoustic passages and another classical guitar part appear in the calmer parts.
"Christian Death" opens with a very square rhythm which becomes... a Thrash influenced riff! I'm not kidding. The tempo becomes more plodding and the mood darker in the verse, where great guitars and deep keyboards wrap the listener in a cold, threatening atmosphere.
"Funeral, Sword and Souls" begins with a very fast part enriched by a great tremolo picked melody, and becomes more groovy in the verse, with the rhythm being not too dissimilar from a Maiden-style galloping section. Aldrahn completes the slower sections with more of his chants, and another materpiece is born.
"The Last Chapter" again alternates between punishing blastbeats and more plodding breaks, but oddly, it's the fastest parts that come out as more melodic thans to great dual guitar harmonies and quiet keyboards in the background. Could a song like this miss the acoustic interlude in the middle? Certainly not, and here it is; Jardar pulls off a great solo on this part, too.
The final song "...Leads to Utopia/The Old Man's Dream", has some "Transilvanian Hunger" beats driving the rhythm, and is sung entirely by Aldrahn. "The Old Man's Dream" actually is a sort of hidden track that begins after some silence, and consists of an acoustic guitar/bass instrumental with lyrics being recited over it. The bass is the dominating instrument here, and stands out as nothing short of amazing.
This is "Born of the Flickering", and it should definitely have a place in your collection. The reasons are written above.
Old Man's Child "Born of the Flickering" LP
- Brand: Soulseller Records
- Product Code: LP
- Availability: In Stock