Aurvandil – Thrones

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Founded back in 2006, Aurvandil have released only demos, splits and an EP between 2007-2010. The first steps into the full-lengths were done with Yearning, in 2011, and now I declare Aurvandil are a serious confirmation within the atmospheric black metal sub-genre because of the brand new Thrones (Eisenwald).Including four magical hymns of Iron and Ice to cleanse the Earth of false designs, Thrones is able to take our body and soul into the gelid northern landscapes in order to reach the hyperborean purity.

The using of melodic and slow acoustic guitars in the album kick off with ‘For Whom Burnest Thou’ is like a ritualistic moment which is preparing us for this immaculate journey that will transcend us onto glacial rivers and misty mountains. These two environments I just described are personified by heavy and long hypnotic guitar riffs that are beautifully transfigured as cold breezes running in our veins. However, that’s not the only work done with guitars as we have some melodic lead passages that can be seen as black/post metal performances, like in ‘The Harvest Of Betrayal’ or ‘Ingen Lindring’.

Summon The Storms’ may be seen as the epic peak with its almost twenty minutes running time where all Aurvandil characteristics and aesthetics are blended. It’s genial and certainly created through hard work.

The frozen and harsh vocals are heard all along the album; sometimes a little far, but I interpreted this feature as being in an ample landscape. The lyrics include what best defines this kind of music: ancient values and the eagerness to fight a rotting modern world.

I dare to say I haven’t heard such good straight atmospheric black metal album since the day I bought Walknut’s Graveforests And Their Shadows. Thrones is marvelous, iconic, intriguing and devoted to the cause. It’s a must-have for the past-seeking devotees and for those who have embraced the majestic atmospheric black metal movement.

9.0/10

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DIOGO FERREIRA

 

Benighted – Carnivore Sublime

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There’s a reason I’ve had this release since February and am only getting around to it now. No it’s not my lack of productivity. In truth, after listening to Benighted’sCarnivore Sublime (Season of Mist) once, I really had no desire to ever listen to it again. Other reviewers have been talking up its catchiness and how they’re forerunners in this era of new death metal, so maybe I’ve been missed something but isn’t the definition of catchy ‘instantly appealing and memorable?’ Let me repeat my previous statement “I really had no desire to ever listen to it again.”

If I could relate them to any good bands, maybe Job For a Cowboy, though Job For a Cowboy’s drumming, bass and mastery of various vocal styles is far superior. Julien Truchan of Benighted is a pretty versatile vocalist to be fair but in the context of Benighted, his potential is lost amidst mundane, predictable deathcore. The experimental introduction of industrial metal was not a wise direction either in my opinion. The most brutal track is ‘Les Morsures du Cerbère;’ the only track on the album with French lyrics, acting as a sad reminder of this bands origins, France. An association I’d like to forget, since I like to think of the French metal scene as towering above this standard.

The title track, generally, should be the pinnacle of an album. One the entire band can back, that will sell them albums and shake the earth so to speak. ‘Carnivore Sublime’ probably does have the most mainstream composition on the album, which without the vocals, at times, could easily be a tribal influenced club hit. However, it is no where near the best (if I can even use that word in this review without gagging) track on the “Carnivore Sublime.”

I relinquish the efforts of waisting my breath on this album any further and my guess is, if you liked it, you’ve abandoned this review for a more favourable one long ago. Somehow Benighted have 7 albums under their belts so there must be fans out there somewhere. I just can’t call myself one of them.

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2/10

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CHRISTINE HAGER