Tag Archives: At the Gates

Persefone – Spiritual Migration

Spiritual Migration” is an album that has rightfully caught many people’s attention with its unique twist; bear with me here: It’s Death Metal about Buddhism. Yeah you’ve read that correctly. we’re talking about a feel-good extreme metal album. Sounds off? But the concept seems to work surpisingly well, thanks to epic arrangements and a seriously powerful vocal delivery; witnessing these “enlightened”-type positive lyrics being combined with growls is one of the refreshing things I’ve heard all year.

Now add to this bold concept an insane technical prowess that many guitar players will envy (I really don’t understand how anyone could play these riffs, let alone memorize them) and you got huge amounts of potential here. It’s a goddamn riff goldmine that’s what it is! All you gotta do is hack away, it’s all gold. Well..theoretically.

The problem is that this really-awesome-in-theory idea quickly falls flat on its face in reality, mainly because the album loses itself in its own complexity. And though there are countless technical acts who’ll bore you to death with their “musical” endeavours, I was especially disappointed this time around because the premise as I described is at first so epic and promising. Why? Why should we be tortured like this? When all we crave is a few catchy riffs, a killer rhythms section and memorable song structures?

I really don’t have an answer. I don’t know why this band decides to go breakdown on me every few minutes. Is that trend never gonna let up? And I don’t know why they complicate everything, disjointing their riffs into a labyrinth of frequencies and puzzling syncopations that no listener could possibly remember. These two issues seem contrasting but they share something being the most obvious, biggest traps bands can fall into, composition-wise. No matter how good the album’s concept is (and it is very good), the aforementioned frantic composition style quickly becomes obnoxious to my ears.

To offer an example demonstrating a possible opposite direction, as always when speaking about melodeth we can use At The Gates‘ “Slaughter of The Soul“, with its memorable but intelligent melodic guitar-playing, its uber-solid rhythm section and furious vocalist. Of course this is not a review of ATG and I am not saying all bands should take their path, I only imply that metal music is better off being to-the point and should not obsess over the hyper-technical on such a ..stupefying level !

Still, if you are by chance a tech-freak or devour djents for breakfast every day(that is a good idea for a new cereal isn’t it ?), “Spiritual Migration” just might be up your alley. However, if you happen to listen to this band in an actual alley, please choose the street furthest from this oldschool headbanger right here.

6\10 

Aetherium Mors – Drenched In Victorious Blood

As many of you have noticed, the world hasn’t ended just yet, but 2012 is over, and what better way to celebrate(or hate) it than with a refreshing dose of quality blackened death fucking metal? released on December 23, “Drenched In Victorious Blood” is a furious anti-christian extreme metal effort by UK-based band Aetherium Mors.

Print

The album begins on a quite one-dimensional note in the simplistic traditional BM manner – the monotone shriek is here; the satanic lyrics – check. .Blastbeats – you betcha. Being there, done that! but patience is a virtue, and in our case the wait is damn worthwhile. Following “Sons of Men” and “Luciferian March” Aetherium Mors do something quite cool, as the vocals and riffs suddenly take on a less strictly nocturnal color, the band and listener entering the now almost forgotten and often deemed dead subgenre – Melodic Death Metal. Oh yes.

It feels like a millenia has passed since I’ve heard a band not only cite At The Gates and Dissection as influences, but really bring back the feel, fury, and composing style of those classic acts. And let me tell you something – Aetherium Mors NAIL IT. Starting with “Kingdom of Shadows”, a refreshing nostalgia begins emanating from the relentless riffs, the strong rhythm section bleeding with familiar tragic deathly melodies, all the while holding onto the album’s own sound and concept.

The Fall of God” sees Aetherium Mors leaving behind the blackened dissonant chords for the most part and instead going all out melo-death, the instrumental change followed by a vocal one, as deep growls accompany the shrieks, accentuating the chorus with sonic brutality. This excellent piece is an example of everything that’s good about this subgenre and feels like the best track on the album!

The guys go further on this melodic path with the latter closing tracks  “Order of The Talion” and “Annihilating Fire“, gradually adding an impressive amount of excellent lead guitar to the mix, which greatly expands their sound. This visible progression within the album itself is just awesome and gives us a damn heavy, but also diverse listening experience. For such a violent record, it ends with an eerie acoustic outro of daring contrast.

While many end-of-the-year “top of 2012” lists will probably contain both good and mediocre releases, my belief is that the truly refreshing extreme acts will always be slightly hidden\underground at their prime, and such is the case with Aetherium Mors, who offer top quality blackened death metal that channels the infectious melodies of classic acts. “Drenched In Victorious Blood” is definitely one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, and you can hear it on the guys’ official Bandcamp page.

8/10