This is honestly a pretty confusing album. On the one hand, it tries to be a very typical melo black album that doesn’t really push the boundaries that much. On the other hand, it tries to support that with orchestral viking metal. Inherently nothing is confusing about this combination. The confusion happens when you try to analyze if they do this well or not. This is a very repetitive album, in that not only is almost every song in the same key, but there seems to really only be one theme throughout the entire album. The main melodies and chord progressions sound very pop-alt metal at times, with their use of suspended chords before the resolution, which to me doesn’t fit with what the aesthetic of this kind of music is supposed to be. On the other hand, while I typically hate it when bands try to go for supposedly epic and beautiful orchestral sections (because typically they don’t accomplish either of those things), there are some genuinely great sections on this album, especially on the fourth and fifth tracks (ESPECIALLY on the fifth track). So I guess the main conflict here is the disparity between the occasionally fantastic orchestral sections with the honestly mediocre everything else. There’s always a danger in melodic anything that it’s going to sound cheesy, and this album doesn’t avoid that. In the end, I honestly think getting rid of all the black metal influences altogether would’ve benefited this album a lot, because it really only drags it down with the expectations of one aesthetic and the deliverance of something else. Straight up viking metal would’ve been much more beneficial in this case.