Countess are a band from the Netherlands that has been featured before in this zine and plays a very old school and atmospheric form of black metal with a strong elements of traditional metal and this is a review of their 2014 album "Ancient Lies And Battle Cries" which was released by Barbarian Wrath.
Epic sounding keyboards start off the album along with some grim black metal vocals and after a couple of minutes the music starts getting more heavy and old school sounding along with some melodic guitar leads and the music sticks mostly to a mid paced and more up beat direction an d the music sticks to an early 90's direction from beginning to end.
After awhile the band brings in a heavy Greek influence along with elements of thrash and heavy metal as well as adding a great amount of melody into the music along with some powerful sounding bass guitars and the keyboards also get more diverse in sound as time goes on by and on some of the later tracks they do speed up a bit and add in a small amount of blast beats and the keyboards that are utilized on this album go back to the early beginnings of second wave black metal and have none of the modern or symphonic sounds that where introduced in the later 90's and some of the tracks are very long and epic in length and a small amount of classical guitars are added onto the last track.
Countess show a great amount of change from the last time I heard an album form them with the music being a step away from the raw guitars and production of their early 90's releases and the band these these days has a more up beat sound with a lot of traditional metal elements being mixed in with their black metal sound, the production sounds very old school and professional while the lyrics cover Satanism, Occultism, Anti Christian, Ancient History and Heavy Metal themes.
In my opinion this is another great sounding recording from Countess and if you are a fan of black/heavy metal, you should check out this album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Battle Sky" "Beneath the Eye Of Wisdom" "Pray For the Cult" and :The Last Temple". 8 out of 10.