Old Man's Child
Born of the Flickering(Century Media - 1996)
From the first opening blasting riff to the last, this one screams talent and black majesty. A great blend of melodic black metal with plenty of catchy and varied riffs and changes, well implemented acoustic guitars and overall interest. The guitars have the main role here by far, although some keyboards and almost unnoticable female vocals play their part as well. The vocals are mostly a raspy roar, sometimes reminiscent of Immortal, albeit they do change and use variations to better the music therewith. Rather than just adding to the brutality by screaming with the music, the vocals lend their own dialogue for one's ears, complementing the music with spoken deviltry, harsh roars, belching growls, harmonic choirs and dual-layered rasps. The composition does the same, ever-changing and always grabbing your interest before building to epic climaxes. The production, instrument playing and packaging are all outstanding. A must buy.
The Pagan Prosperity(Century Media - 1997)
This second release erupts with a power-metalesque riff-melody backed by lovely atmospheric keyboards and powerful black metal rasps. The guitars have the chugging At the Gates feel to them though and some death and black elements confuse matters more. This proves to be the trend of the track and most of the album, teasing pigeonhole aficionados and always straddling the border between a chugging death metal sound, NWOBHM and black metal. If any of you are thinking 'I thought Old Man's Child was a black metal band?' then don't take my word for it: pick this up, ignore the vocals, and ease up on the booming distortion for some of these songs, and you'll basically have some speed/power metal. Only the last track can be defined as black metal. The grimness is mostly gone here, and the lively riffs dominate the music. Is this good or bad you ask? It is most excellent - but it is not for black metal purists. Variety and complex technicalities are plentiful, and the composition and playing are superb as before. A livelier (or happier if you wish) album than before with nary a blast beat, but your enjoyment level would depend on what you are looking for. The vocals vary again, and the keyboards contribute plenty while staying in the background. Extremely recommended.