Roel de Haan : The German progressive black metal band Dark Fortress is back after a four year wait since ‘Ylem’. Their seventh album to date and it is entitled ‘Venereal Dawn’. ‘Ylem’ was a monumental record in terms of scope and ambition and even though at times it felt overwrought and too drawn out, the quality and talent Dark Fortress showed in the field of progressive black metal made it an excellent album. Now, can they deliver an even better album with ‘Venereal Dawn’? In many ways they did. The album expands, elaborates on the style of its predecessor and even delves into uncharted territories.
This broadening of their palette includes occasional ethereal clean singing by both Morean and a female guest vocalist. One striking influence suddenly found its way in their repertoire: Opeth. Especially in the song ‘Lloigor’, which could be easily mistaken for a lost track of the ‘Blackwater Park’ sessions. Dark Fortress thrives on contrasts between controlled aggression, acoustic and atmospheric parts and by doing so have created an excellent and extensively detailed progressive black metal.