During my initial listen of this album, I was immediately put off by the pretty boy like vocals during some of the tracks. I found the whole thing to be too pretty for black metal. Black metal should be raw and angry, not beautiful! But then, while I was listening to the fourth track, something clicked. I can’t explain it, but suddenly I got this album. Part of it was me going “you know, maybe instead of comparing it to what i think black metal should sound like, maybe I should just take it for what it is”. This IS pretty. This IS beautiful. But at the same time it still IS black metal. This album seamlessly combines grace and evil, prettiness and grotesque, other things across the opposite ends of the spectrum. Definitely one of the albums of the year.