This is Melodic/Symphonic Black Metal, but not necessarily in the way you might be thinking. A lot of the time these days Symphonic Black Metal is polished, ostentatious and overblown; this is more Old-School Symphonic Black Metal, if there is such a thing. We’re back in the ancient old days of early Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, et al for this one.
The keyboards are subtle affairs, (relatively), working to add flavour to the Blackened assault rather than trying to be overly-prominent or ruling the roost, so to speak. For this kind of Black Metal this is the preferred state of things and Alastor Sanguinary Embryo never lose their dark bite because of it.
There are a variety of moods, speeds and feelings on this release, but I find that I enjoy it the most when the band are in full-on blast beat mode, with everything fast, screeching and trying to outdo everything else.
The scathing vocals, sharp guitars and understated atmospheric keyboards provide a lot of Blackened entertainment throughout this 58 minutes and I like that the blast beats are never too far away from proceedings. Also – you can actually hear the bass, which is always a plus point. But, and get this – BASS SOLO! Fuck yeah!
Although some of the writing could do with tightening up on occasion, this is ultimately a really good exemplar of how Symphonic Black Metal should sound if you want a good taste of what the style was originally about, rather than what it’s largely become today.
A refreshing blast from the past; it’s hard to not enjoy this release as there’s such palpable enthusiasm and passion on display here. The songs are just really enjoyable, especially if you were brought up on this kind of thing.
Check them out.