Profane Burial – The Rosewater Park Legend (Review)

Profane BurialProfane Burial are an orchestral/symphonic black metal band from Norway and this is their debut album.

There’s a lot of music out there in the world, and sometimes you have to decide just how you’re going to filter through it all and give something a listen. Sometimes this can be tricky work, but not in the case of Profane Burial. I knew I had to listen to this due to the presence of the talented André Aaslie; his impressive orchestral work with both Images at Twilight and Abyssic made The Rosewater Park Legend a must-listen for me.

So what do we have there then? Well, if you imagine some of your favourite frosted old-school black metal, beefed up with rich orchestral atmospherics, then you’ll have a good idea of the rich, icy landscapes that Profane Burial operate in. There are some heavier, chunkier influences at play here too, some that recall the brutal majesty of a band like Septic Flesh, for example.

One of the reasons that I sometimes don’t get on too well with symphonic black metal is that the symphonic part of the sound can sometimes seem disconnected to, or somehow separate from, the rest of the music. This is one of the very good things about The Rosewater Park Legend; the songs have obviously been constructed with the orchestral enhancements in mind from the very start, and they’re an integral part of the Profane Burial experience.

This is some proper old-school stuff, and it reminds me strongly of the type of thing I listened to a lot in the mid/late 90s. The production values are, admittedly, a bit warmer and richer than a lot of music that came out of this era, but stylistically and spiritually Profane Burial belong right at home back then, for the most part at least. I feel compelled to clarify about the production too – this certainly isn’t overly polished or pristine music; it’s well-recorded and nicely clear and strong, but still has an underground grit to it that’s most welcome. Also, although there’s definitely a warmness to the instruments, (especially the drums), everything here still has a cold veneer that keeps the black metal aesthetic intact.

With quality, well-written songs and a well-rounded delivery, The Rosewater Park Legend is a thoroughly enjoyable slab of grand orchestral blackness.

Very highly recommended.

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