This is the second album by this Minnesota band and unlike their debut, this one actually shows their WP/NS roots. The first disc was pretty much straight-out Black/Death with a Norse influence in the lyrics but Under the Blood Banner comes out of the White Power closet with a vengeance. For those who haven’t heard of Before God, this band is a side project of the veteran White Power Hardcore band Bound for Glory (who have numerous albums available, though finding one at your local record store might not be easy). This album is much more Black Metal (Bathory / Burzum / Darkthrone) oriented, though lyrically Under the Blood Banner has nothing remotely to do with Satan or anything evil. The more Viking stuff is comparable to Darkthrone playing the music of Under a Funeral Moon but using the lyrics from Bathory’s Hammerheart or Twilight of the Gods. I also got the impression that the lyrics for half of this album were written independently of the music because the flow of delivery is just not there. The other half of the album fucking rules because they have the music and the atmosphere and the vocals totally in synch and everything clicks. When things don’t click, the songs sound disjointed and even annoying at times. In terms of consistency, the debut was better. Under the Blood Banner is more experimental in stretching their musical style, but there are still major kinks to be worked out. This is a valiant effort but Before God still has a long journey to complete before they can turn out an album that is a certifiable masterwork.
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