Countess – ‘Fires of Destiny’

Artist: Countess

Title: Fires of Destiny

Label: N/A (Independent)

Year: 2016

Review by JH

Dutch black metal overlords Countess are legends in their own right, having produced a whole string of classics that stand the test of time. Now, they return with album number 15. One is left to wonder whether a band is able to still release quality music after such a long period of constant activity, but let me tell you, one song into Fires of Destiny will validate that as said album is easily one of the best metal albums of 2016. I’m not kidding.

The music itself is fairly straight-forward, nothing flashy, just killer riffs accompanied by some great leads and keyboard samples scattered here and there to add to the epic feeling. That’s definitely one of the victorious aspects about this album: the atmosphere is out of this world. The way the songs are constructed suggests that these guys know a thing or two about craftmanship; every track on Fires of Destiny is possessed by a feeling of triumph. The vocals are still harsh, although about the only thing “black metal” about this record.  There’s a total of 10 metallic numbers on this disc, every piece filled with an epic atmosphere and infectious hooks that will draw you in almost instantly ― or at least, anyone who appreciates Blood Fire Death / Hammerheart era Bathory.

I honestly believe that Countess is one of the best black metal (or metal) bands ever…fuck knows why this band is so underrated. Overall, it’s hard to choose any particular favorites since every track on here slays, although some songs worth mentioning would be Fires of Destiny, Rise of the Horned One, Today is a Good Day to Die and See The Ravens Fly. Excellent album!

JH