Originally signed to Cacophonous and releasing three epic masterpieces of symphonic Black Metal, Bal-Sagoth now signed to Nuclear Blast with their new Album Chthonic Chronicles currently wowing critics (KKKK Review in Kerrang, 9.5 Lead Review in Terrorizer) its time to see where it all began with the first three albums re-released on Cacophonous, Starfire Burning Upon The Ice Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule, Bal-Sagoth’s second album saw them progressing further down the Symphonic Black metal route.
The band incorporates brief black metal moments into an overall grandiose canvas painting a picture of battles in an antediluvian age where Atlantis had not yet been destroyed and the continents were still joined in a Pangaean mass. A predominant feature is the use of epic keyboards played by Jonny Maudling. Guitar is more of an accenting instrument than a driving force, with the rhythm established more by the drums and keyboards. The vocals of Byron Roberts are more spoken word than anything, making the songs more like stories set to music than anything else. The stories are told like a play, with many characters (or groups of characters, speaking in unison) exchanging dialogue. The singer uses different vocalizations and effects to set them apart. The songs frequently have very long titles, (such as "The Dark Liege Of Chaos Is Unleashed At The Ensorcelled Shrine Of A`zura Kai (The Splendor Of A Thousand Swords Gleaming Beneath The Blazon Of The Hyperborean Empire Part II)" and feature complex plots that span multiple songs and are told through full stories, of which the lyrics are just bits and pieces.