It’s always great to hear something new from this charismatic and individual band, and here we have 47 minutes of new material.
If you’re not familiar with Glorior Belli’s work, (check out Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls and Sundown (the Flock That Welcomes)), this is a band that are successfully and enjoyably forging their own path through black metal’s crowded forests. Adopting many Southern rock influences and embedding them firmly in their blackened sound, the band seem to get more proficient at this with every release, and this new one is no exception.
The songs on The Apostates continue in the vein of the band’s previous releases, mixing black metal and Southern-tinged hard rock with enviable ease. This tends to lend some of the material a swampy sludge vibe, which is not something to complain about at all.
Fusing black metal with Southern, hard, sludge, and blues rock is not something that should be approached lightly, but at this point in his career the controlling mind behind Glorior Belli clearly knows what he’s doing. Black metal is obviously the overarching umbrella style here, but the influence from the other styles makes for a highly enjoyable and very infectious collection of tracks, as well as helping the album to easily differentiate itself from its peers and carve out its own little niche in the black metal landscape. It works a treat, and The Apostates is a roaring success.
The songs are full of textured and nuanced delivery, whether they’re blasting at full speed, full of fiery blackened aggression, or whether they’re settling into an enticing rock groove, with quality riffs and leads flying around like there’s no tomorrow. Or maybe you’d prefer a more immersive, atmospheric moment amidst the chaos and distortion? Maybe something with an almost post-rock feel to it in places? The Apostates delivers all of this, and more.
There’s an increase in variety of vocal delivery too on this latest album, with various different styles used in addition to the core blackened screams. I am very much in favour of this latest development.
I always enjoy hearing what Glorior Belli have to offer, and I strongly believe that this album, given a few more spins, could end up being my favourite one so far. It has some strong competition, of course, but this is a first-rate album that can’t hide how accomplished it is.
Go and listen to this, get ready to rock, and get ready to rage.