Review by Jason Guest
Channelling the black arts through séance and sorcery, from Australian label Séance Records we have two new releases, both of which are the band’s second albums. From Australia’s Erebus Enthroned, we have Temple Under Hell, and from Finland’s Graveborne comes Through The Window Of The Night. Read them both or click the band names to go directly to the review.
Erebus Enthroned – Temple Under Hell
Release date: 2 April 2014
The 2011 debut full-length, Night’s Black Angel, from Australia’s Erebus Enthroned was one of pure ravaging and nihilistic black metal rage, its broad dynamic range bringing together the discordant with the dense and the crushing to form an album of colossal threatening menace. Yep, it was a good ‘un. Three years later and Erebus Enthroned have emerged even stronger with album number two, Temple Under Hell.
The solemn chimes that summon the dark spirits in the ten-minute opening track, ‘Sorathick Penetecost’, its hypnotically twisted riff and ritualistic vocals cast a long shadow over the album’s forty-seven minutes. With the atmospherics unwinding as the album proceeds, Erebus Enthroned drag us further away from the light and deeper into the abyss. Both unremitting assaults, ‘Crucible of Vitriol’ is a tower of burning flesh, as is ‘Black Sword’, this latter track dropping the tempo in its last half for devastating effect. And the title track as well as closer ‘Return’ are vast, as much in their scope as they are in stature.
Its intensity unwavering, its depths devouring, the band have retained the balance between the brutal, the creative, and the diverse that made their début so compelling and developed it further still. Atmospheric and dynamic, groovy and grinding, deep and dark, the album’s black majesty is one of a sinister superiority that few achieve. This is darkness made flesh.
8 out of 10
- Sorathick Pentecost
- Crucible Of Vitriol
- Black Sword
- Void Wind
- The Temple Under Hell
Graveborne – Through The Window Of The Night
Release date: 20 January 2014
Formed in 2008, Finland’s Graveborne are vicious. Every track on Through The Window Of The Night is a tightly-clenched fist wrapped in broken glass ready to pummel you beyond the realms of reality, decimating the frail corporeality that binds you to this world and casting your scrawny soul into eternal flames. Ice cold atmospherics are woven into every stitch of this dark tapestry, and, their song-craft assured, the album has few if any holes.
What is most impressive about Through The Window Of The Night is the album’s cohesion, its unity, that each track is part of the greater whole. With each track, out of the atmospherics emerge menacing melodies blasted out over inexorable waves of black metal ire, the intensity never once faltering as vocalist Raato strategically selects the precise moment to unleash his merciless salvos. Yet while the song-writing and the musicianship is confident, it’s apparent that Graveborne have no intention of challenging the boundaries that they work very well within. In terms of originality, it may be lacking but the band’s devotion to obliteration is unquestionable. A standard but solid black metal album.
7 out of 10
- Burn The City Of God
- Tiesi Päähän
- Root Of Evil
- Into The Abyss
- In The End I Find My Beginning
- Pyhää Verta
- Men Behind The Sun