Imperial Conquest – Hammerûn: Monarch of Serpents (Review)

Imperial ConquestImperial Conquest are from the US and play Black Metal. This is their début album.

This is upbeat and grim Black Metal with fantastic symphonic accompaniment. The Metal is hot out of the furnace and is likely to melt flesh upon contact.

The symphonic elements are very well-performed and are a highlight for me. They’re subtle enough most of the time that they become fully enmeshed with the music so that it sounds like a natural part of the band’s repertoire, yet when needed it comes out to the fore and really adds its weight to proceedings.

The symphonic effects really are a master-stroke for this band as they’re not overwrought, perfectly fit with the music and are very well delivered. Considering this part of the style usually just sounds tacked on for most bands of this ilk, having it completely engrained with the rest of the music is no mean feat. Impressive.

The songs as a whole are full of dynamics and have an epic streak to them that never becomes overblown. The music is dark and suitably Blackened, but the relentless riffs and the symphonic keyboards allow the band to work with a rich palette and each track is extremely enjoyable because of this.

The vocals are scything high-pitched screams and the album features guests from Promethean Horde. Nothing not to like here!

I’ve really enjoyed this album. It has almost the perfect ratio of beauty to ugliness, with the symphonic elements being particularly stunning, especially as they sound so damn good set against the rest of the pitch black music.

Very highly recommended. In fact, go and get this right now.

Promethean Horde – Ashes of the Empyrean (Review)

Promethean HordePromethean Horde are from the US and play Black Metal. This is their début album.

This is epic Black Metal that blasts out of the speakers with vitality and passion. Immediately a few things are clear – they have a good sound, the bass has a good presence and it’s fast and furious.

The band have a healthy melodic streak to their sound with a good amount of leads and solos rearing their heads amidst the Blackened landscape.

Mainly screamed vocals are used, although deeper growls and cleans also appear. All are performed well.

Ashes of the Empyrean boasts fast and aggressive Melodic Black Metal that’s dark and sharp. These are Blackened melodies in use here not the joyous, pseudo-Pop of their more commercial cousins. This is hateful, spiteful and lives to cut lives short.

Some of the compositions also feature a bit more of a Progressive influence to them, as if the band are just beginning to tentatively experiment with Post-Black Metal/Folk elements. It’s not a large part of their sound for sure, but it’s an additional touch that keeps things interesting.

All throughout the album the band treat us to thick guitars and scathing vocals that lay the foundation for this enjoyable release. Reminding of old Dimmu Borgir without the keyboard ostentation, this is a pleasing album that is easy to like. The Blackened riffs wash over you like a welcome flagellation and the subtle Death Metal touches give their attack an added edge.

Solid, quality Black Metal. Enjoy.