“Stratagem” is the first track on the album. You may remember it from his original EP, Of Scars and Soil or maybe my compilation, Metal From The Dragon Vol. 1; it was the leading track on both. However, both were unmastered versions, unlike this one. The track is a melodic song, but it certainly doesn’t hold back with Thompson’s vocals. His guitar solo is pretty sick too. The lyrics themselves, however, are more uplifting then ever.
The word stratagem came from me looking for synonyms for the word “plan”. The idea came from how God had a plan for Job’s life. The lyrics “a hand unseen, still veiled to me” bring that idea to the front. When hard things happen in our lives, as Christians we have to remember that God works in ways we cannot always perceive. That was true of Job’s situation, and its true of ours. And that is something we have to tell ourselves when we go through the hard times.
“War in the Wind” starts off with guitars and a wailing siren going off in the background. This one, once it gets going, really shows how awesome a musician Thompson is. The drum programming alone is so good, you wouldn’t be able to tell they were…ya know…if I hadn’t pointed that out. The song brings Mortification to mind.
“Anno Domini” was also apart of the Of Scars and Soil EP. So if you’re familiar with it, you know it’s awesome. The track is fast and is full of melody and symphony. A Christian symphony…wonder what you’d call that?
“In Anger’s Midst” was the first song anyone heard that was not apart of the EP. It certainly does not disappoint. The song sounds a lot like Horde or Elgibbor. This track is certainly the black metal-est on the album. Although primarily death metal, Symphony of Heaven does honor the original black and unblack metal bands that came before him.
“The Meditation of My Heart” starts with just an acoustic guitar. The electric guitar plays in the background and the drums are barely audible, but that adds to the beauty of this song. The song is an instrumental and I think that’s for the best.
“Of Scars and Soil” was on the EP and is now the 6th track on the album. The song starts with the guitars building up and keyboards playing the background. The song is about the story of Job and how all he had were the scars and the soil beneath him.
“Come and Rest” has a slow but heavy feel to it. Although it’s slow, it has an unblack metal style to it, mostly with the guitars and vocals. Mid way through the song, it kicks off into that fast heavy stuff we all love. Sounds like Becoming the Archetype a little bit.
“Time Transcending” is the final track on the album. It’s also the longest track on the album. It begins with the sound of rain. Followed by guitars. The instrumentation really comes full circle. The track is long, but it’s certainly awesome. The song sounds a lot like Death Requisite.
Overall, the album is certainly one of the best I’ve heard all year, if not the best. I encourage anyone who loves bands like Death Requisite, Horde, Dimmu Borgir, or Mortification to pick this album up!
For Fans Of: Death Requisite, Horde, Mortification, Becoming the Archetype, Dimmu Borgir