Guitar wise there are lots of differences per song. The title track and opener, is a slow to mid paced hymnic and epic song, almost ten minutes long, with rather melodic and monotonous riffs. While the second song "Nightowl" is a Black Metal attack where the guitar is more upfront and the riffs present a soundscape full of hate. The drums are furious with a lot of double bass. "When Ancient Spirits Battled" sounds more like a mix of the first two songs, lots of epic riffs and melody, but not as slow as the opener and still mostly with that harsh Black voice. The riffs sometimes remind me of the demos of THYRFING as heard on their brilliant "Hednaland". Coincidentally, they are from the same year. In the next song they start with some cool Black Metal again, now with some more obvious synths. The main attraction of this track however is the sickening, hopeless scream which wouldn't be misplaced on a Black Metal album from a band of, say, the Selbstmord Service label. I really like this variation in vocal styles, especially since the music remains epic and most bands don't really use aforementioned voice in that case.
I also must mention the guitar leads, that sound very refreshing throughout the constant riffs. Now it should come as now surprise that a band in this style has some sort of BATHORY influence, here it is mainly heard on the slower songs, that have a bit of a Viking Metal BATHORY atmosphere to them, while remaining musically different from it. The whole album continues like the songs I mentioned; often changing in style and melting the different elements of these styles together in one song. It should appeal to a lot of people, from Black Metal fans, to fans of lighter epic styled metal. I simply love the fact that you can hear harsh Black Metal, hymnic passages and technical guitar solos in one song while still maintaining an overlapping atmosphere!
Hopefully they'll release some more material; be it in the vein of this album, or their latest album "Witch Hunts" that presented less epic material, but more Black Metal with great atmosphere.
1. Without Ceremony And Bell Toll
2. Inside The Circle Of Stones
3. The Crow And The Warrior
4. Dying To Meet You 06:14
5. The Witch-Hunts Trilogy Part I: The Preacher Came To Town
6. Part II: Burn, Witches, Burn
7. Part III: Witch Hunters