Archive for Symphonic Black Metal

Cradle of Filth – Dusk…And Her Embrace – The Original Sin

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 11th July 2016 by izaforestspirit

Cradle of Filth
Dusk…And Her Embrace – The Original Sin
Released 8th July 2016
Symphonic Black Metal/Extreme Gothic Metal
Released via Cacophonous Records

Ever since discovering it as a teenager, Cradle of Filth’s ‘Dusk And Her Embrace’ has been one of my favourite albums. A couple of months ago I was surprised to find out that this beautiful piece of Gothic horror/symphonic black metal is not in fact the original version. An earlier edition was recorded in 1995 but due to problems with both the line-up and the record label, the album never saw the light of day. Not until now that is… This year the newly re-animated Cacophonous Records decided to finally release a remastered version under the name of ‘Dusk…And Her Embrace – The Original Sin’.

Given how much I love ‘Dusk And Her Embrace’ (the “later” version, released in 1996) I was keen to see what this remastered, older edition sounds like and how it compares to the 1996 version. Well…Let’s start with stating some basic facts that make this version different from the previously released version: 1. the line-up for this album is the same as the one for ‘Principle of Evil Made Flesh’. It should be noted that the only band members who were present during both recordings were Dani Filth and Nicholas Barker; 2. the artwork, 3. the track-listing – this edition features more songs including two instrumentals and some demos and Nocturnal Supremacy (originally released on the ‘V Empire’ EP).

Now on to the actual music… As with all the Cradle of Filth albums, this one starts off with an atmospheric instrumental track which is this version is titled Macabre, This Banquet. It has got an eerie and atmospheric keyboard intro that is not too far removed from Humana Inspired to Nightmare (the opening track on the 1996 version). Nocturnal Supremacy comes as a bit of a surprise on here, possibly because I’m so used to the older, more abrasive black metal version of the song as featured on ‘V Empire’ EP.

Then we enter more familiar territory as the album progresses, revealing the original versions of the songs. As with any good quality gem, the unpolished version shows some potential but it can feel a little rough around the edges. This definitely the case here. One of my favourites, Funeral In Carpathia is a good example. It’s fairly similar to the later version of the song, but there’s a few subtle differences. The most prominent are Dani’s vocals; instead of the high pitched shrieks featured on the 1996 version, he adopts the more traditional black metal vocal style, more akin to the vocals on the band’s debut album. There’s also considerably less of the eloquent Gothic horror overtones than in the 1996 version. Yet some things remain the same; for example A Gothic Romance still has the same eerie horror story feel to it and the title track, even in this more primitive form it is still the undisputed highlight of the album

In summary, ‘Dusk…And Her Embrace – The Original Sin’ is definitely a collector’s item for the avid Cradle of Filth fan looking to expand his/her collection. The name is a big clue – “original sin” which on here implies raw, more aggressive and generally more black metal bearing more similarities to ‘Principle of Evil…’ and ‘V Empire’ than the previously released version.

4.5/5
Iza Raittila

Quintessence Mystica stream first song from upcoming album

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 13th May 2014 by Pieni

Ukrainian symphonic black metal act Quintessence Mystica will release their second album “Duality” on the 20th June. The 10 new tracks (titles below) promise to take you “in an irrational and cosmic journey” (quoting their label Schwarzdorn Production).

For now, the duo composed of Master Alafern and Dromos Aniliagos has presented the fans with the track “The Infinite Dance Of Numbers”, which is available for streaming on YouTube and SoundCloud.

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Track list:
1. Prelude
2. The Secrets of Victorious Decisions
3. The Infinite Dance of Numbers
4. Sparks of the Glorious Fire
5. Impulse of Courage
6. Inversion of Reality
7. Destruction of Galaxies
8. Creep & Damage
9. Equations of Daemonic Revelations
10. Breathing of Saturn

Whorion – Fall of Atlas EP

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 6th January 2014 by izaforestspirit

Whorion
Fall of Atlas EP
Released 17th January 2014
Symphonic Death/ Black Metal
Released via: Eternal Sound Records

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‘Fall of Atlas’ is the first EP from the Finnish symphonic black metal band Whorion. The band was originally formed back in 2009. They describe their style as “brutal” and “symphonic”, creating a feeling of listener being “sucked into a dark matter of space, slowly waiting for the world’s end”.

So here it is, my first review in the new year. The terms “brutal” and “symphonic” don’t usually mix as far as extreme metal is concerned, so I’m a little intrigued as to how this combination could work… The opener Great Mass Suicide definitely fits the “symphonic black metal” -bracket. Comparisons to mid-career Dimmu Borgir spring to mind, though this also features death metal -style growls and guitar patterns. The Dimmu Borgir elements are present in the orchestral style synth melodies and vocal samples particularly audible on tracks such as Vortex of The Dead. By the time this second track comes on, the vocal style seems to have switched completely moving away from growling towards a more black metal sounding screaming or shouting.

One thing which spoils the effect is the use of the stop-start guitar technique and the somewhat odd-sounding vocals which seem to vary in style depending on the song. Sadly it is the title track which embodies all these problems offering a bizarre mix of technical guitar patterns, brutal blackened death metal and symphonic, orchestral style synths. The result is a rather confusing mess that leaves the listener hanging, and you are not quite sure where this is heading.

Symphonic, brutal and technical? Yeah, I still don’t quite get it.

3/5
Iza Raittila

Hecate Enthroned – Virulent Rapture

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , on 12th December 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Hecate Enthroned
Virulent Rapture
Released 25th November 2013
Symphonic Black Metal
Released via Crank Music

Anyone know follows the British black metal scene will have no doubt encountered the legendary, if somewhat unsung, heroes of the scene: Hecate Enthroned. Following the release of Redimus in 2004, the band have remained fairly quiet – or as quiet as you can possibly get when playing black metal. However, following their recent pact with Italian label Crank Music, Hecate Enthroned are set to rise again.

The eerie orchestration of Thrones Of Shadow acts as the beginning of the ritual that is Virulent Rapture. The haunting orchestration leads into the fierce wailing guitars and bestial vocals, as the keyboard passages create a Poe-like atmosphere that glides gently between the crushing use of guitars, bass and drums and the hate-flavoured vocals. Unchained sees the waves of Plutonian darkness continue to flood forth from the snarling guitars and hypnotic keyboard medleys whereas the bass and drums are more thunderous and barbaric, creating a perfect contrast.

The introduction of Abyssmal March creates an atmospheric mood, painted with varying Cimmerian shades but the unrelenting charge of the heavier instrumentation rushes in, leading a vicious use of screams and Hadean keyboard medleys. Plagued By Black Death features a melancholy piano passage which dances like a spirit at dance macabre with the vocals and guitars in a certain, almost seductive manner portraying beauty and a bestial nature in one vessel. Euphoria explodes in like a volcano, domineering one’s hearing with a visceral assault of guitars and drums and some heavy punches from the vocals. The guitars whip out melodic passages, which are accompanied by a mystifying layer of orchestration.

Virulent Rapture is a flood of guitars on a biblical scale of proportions, leaving nothing but a path of ruin and devastation – and probably some sore necks as well – in its wake. The hypnotic orchestration does little to sooth the destructive nature of the song, in fact, it enhances it in a dark and ethereal manner. The one calm during in the storm is produced by the haunting guest vocals of Sarah Jezebel Deva who adds an enchanting element to the song. Life comes across as more of a gothic doom anthem, lending an obsessive, memorable and augural sound through the shadowy voices of the guitars and illusory keyboards. The stern use of bestial vocals do contrast away from the music, employing a strong black metal element there.

The alarming riffs of To Wield The Hand Of Perdition leave no room for mercy as they tear their way through the song like wolves hunting their prey. The vocals are formidable at each turn, while the rhythm sections made up by a terrifying assault of drums and bass, alongside the keyboards, strengthen the track. Of Witchery And The Blood Moon, a title that rings true to the band’s name, is somber in its presentation, painting an image of an unrelenting arctic winds, leaving only a cold trail of wintry enchantments. Immateria is a break from the fierce snapping of riffs, lyrical war cries and barbaric percussion assaults, taking the listen sailing down a more gentle river of memorable medleys until Path Of Silence unleashes a storm of deathly riffs and vocals sharp enough to cut steel in two. The percussion and bass falls down heavier than a ton of bricks, finishing off the devastation left by the previous tracks. The keyboards and orchestration finalise the black metal incantations, keeping the band’s signature sound unscathed throughout the chaos.

Raise your horns and bend your knees. The kings of British black metal, Hecate Enthroned, have returned with a masterpiece that has not only become a complete evolution of their sound but proves that they are one of the best bands on the scene and they certainly show no signs of abdicating from their throne just yet.

Nico Davidson

5/5

Hecate Enthroned online:

http://hecateenthroned.com
http://facebook.com/hecateenthroned

 

Victory Records welcome Erimha

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 4th April 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Victory Records have proudly announced the signing of symphonic black metal unit, Erimha from Montreal, Quebec, Canada to its roster. Erimha, which means “Army” or “Legion”, coming from Sumerian culture, base their haunting, melodic, merciless and operatic sound on ancient mythology and spirituality. Their mantra and mission is one of inner strength and how the individual can be as powerful as an entire army.

Formed in 2010, Erimha’s punishingly fresh and savage take on symphonic black metal is spawning a loyal legion of followers in the Canadian metal scene. They released their first full length album, Irkalla in September 2010 which featured guest vocals from The Agonist’s frontwoman, Alissa White. The band, Gore (vocals), Kthien (rhythm guitar), Ksaos (drums) and Diusternas (bass) are going to be an extreme force to be reckoned with on the international metal battlefield.

Erimha will embark on their first U.S. tour in June with their debut album for Victory Records to be released this summer.

For more information on Erimha:
https://www.facebook.com/Erimha
www.victoryrecords.com/artist/erimha

Riul Doamnei release new video

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , , on 5th January 2013 by izaforestspirit

The symphonic black metallers Riul Doamnei have released an official video to accompany their new digital EP, ‘A Christmas Carol’. Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel and featuring iconic singer CADAVERIA, the new Orchestral Metal Opera in eleven movements makes Christmas ghosts linger on indefinitely into the New Year.

Turn off the lights, put on your headphones and let the haunting begin…

Maelstrom – The Midnight EP

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 13th October 2012 by izaforestspirit

Maelstrom
The Midnight EP
Released: September 2012
Melodic Black Metal
Self-Released

Right from the start of the opening track ‘Eye’ we are treated to some symphonic black metal, complete with shrieking vocals, heavy guitar riffs and melodic keyboards. Though by symphonic black metal, I’m not talking Dimmu Borgir…Think early Hecate Enthroned or ‘Redemption Process’-era Anorexia Nervosa and you will have a better idea of the style of black metal I’m referring to. Though unlike those two bands, Maelstrom likes to add more emphasis on to the guitars with ‘Eye’ being a good example to how to incorporate guitar solos into black metal.

‘Midnight’ is slower and more droning in nature. Even the guitar riffs seem less refined compared to the previous track; the keyboards, though still present, are far more subtle. Then there’s the eerie atmospheric part at the end which fits in well considering the name of the track. ‘Miasma’ is another guitar focused track, complete with occasional solos breaking up what is otherwise a very droning and dry-sounding song. Then we come to the end of this journey with ‘Arctica’ combining the rawness of the other tracks with some atmospheric undertones and haunting, clean backing vocals. Once again it’s the guitars that stand out the most and with a large part of the track being instrumental, the solos become that much more noticable.

Overall this is a decent EP but it’s not one of those albums which you would instantly pick up. It makes for some uneasy listening and if you’re not in the right frame of mind, you are guaranteed to hate it.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila