NIGHTSIDE GLANCE, Twilight Visions of the Night (2005, demo)

The skull:
There’s a whole lot of “night” happening here, and I love the idea of “twilight visions of the night.” It’s like a glimpse into the future, but only an hour or so into the future. This seems to be an alternate or reissue cover, as the original has no skull but instead a pair of glaring eyes, rendered with just slightly more artistry than the Invader cover. That cover also featured a lot of lightning, and also a bit more of a twilight feel, but who needs thematic purity when you can have a skull? This guy looks like he’s auditioning to be a stuntskull for an Iced Earth cover or something, and he hardly seems interested in either twilight or glancing, but at least he’s putting in some effort, which is more can be said for a lot of the skull models we’ve seen.

The music:
This is straight-up Dimmu Borgir/Old Man’s Child worship from Belarus. I guess you’d call it “symphonic black metal” but there’s not very much here that qualifies as black metal in the traditional sense. There are a few more 6/8 parts than usual, and the vocals are croaky instead of gurgly, and maybe the lyrics are about Satan, although they’re probably just about the night. What you do get are a lot of cheesy keyboards and a powerful evocation of 1997, when this sort of thing was all the rage. If Born of the Flickering is your favorite album of all time and you collect anything that sounds like that, then you probably already own this, along with like 3000 similar discs, but on the off chance your trading network didn’t extend too far into the former Soviet bloc, then I guess now’s the time to right that wrong and pick up some Nightside Glance.
— Friar Johnsen

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