Sühnopfer – Hic Regnant Borbonii Manes (Review)

Sühnopfer - Hic Regnant Borbonii ManesThis is the third album from one man French black metal band Sühnopfer.

After 2014’s very enjoyable Offertoire, Hic Regnant Borbonii Manes provides us with 52 minutes of new material that tears into the airwaves with streaks of melodic colour and a frenzied heart of darkness. This is misanthropic, furiously melodic black metal with a Medieval feel and theme, propelled by rage and very aggressive screams.

The music mixes a blackened intensity with moments of grandeur and the occasional lashing of operatic grace. The guitars and melodies are sharp and richly expressive, while also being complex and intricate. They’re quite acrobatic at times too, twisting and turning through the rhythm guitars, drums, and vocals as if itching to burst away from them, all the while knowing that they’re intimately entwined.

Fast paced and ruthless in its delivery, the blasting drums seem almost relentless in their approach to battery, although the reality is more varied than this. Calmer moments of introspection and ambience are used wisely throughout the album, and help to avoid the fatigue that might come from being endlessly assailed with the blistering power of the music’s main assault.

Although in many ways the melodies are the stars of the show here, the rest of the music, (and vocals), don’t slack off. It’s the songwriting that brings everything together, however, and allows the melodies to shine as the tracks attack viciously with violent enthusiasm. The artist behind Sühnopfer is adept at creating atmosphere and mood that’s entirely appropriate for this sort of melodic offensive, and Hic Regnant Borbonii Manes is both effective and enjoyable because of this.

A recommended listen for all melodic black metal fanatics.

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