Today I purchased the mp3 version of this album and listened to it all day while cleaning the garage (great listening experience, I know). I had already heard the stream on their Myspace page, but this was the first time in decent quality on a good system. The Cross of Sacrifice starts the album off in a very sinister way and breaks right into the blast beats and ferocity of Under a Darkening Sky. Having Roel back on drums is a definite high point of this album. Weesenbeek was no slouch, but couldn’t really play the parts live. Back to the album itself, very melodic, but a lot more brutal than the last two albums, even with the inclusion of some awesome clean vocals in Poison Fog and No Survivors. All the songs play as one coherent piece (true to the concept), thus making it difficult to pick standout tracks but I guess Poison Fog, the title track, No Survivors and Fallen Empires would be mine. Lyrically, this is a very dark theme about World War I, but personally a huge interest of mine, so very high marks there. At first I thought this might be one huge blast beat fest, but Roel proves he can do a lot more and gives the songs great variety and texture. Henri and Henk are great as ever and the songs are some of the most original yet from this band. I was kind of worried that GD might be in trouble with the absence of DeLahaye and Weesenbeek, but this sure proved me wrong. I’m not sure if this tops Lair of the White Worm, but it’s at least equal. I must admit I do miss DeLahaye’s soloing, but aside from that small complaint, I can’t think of anything negative about this album. Highly recommended.