GLORIOR BELLI – SUNDOWN (THE FLOCK THAT WELCOMES)

“I am positively surprised by this album. I don’t consider myself a devotee of the band since I don’t know them that well, but “Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes)” has definitely started the process of me becoming one.”

GENRE: Black Metal
LABEL: Agonia Records
RUNNING TIME: 48:11
COUNTRY: France
YEAR: 2016
LINK: Glorior Belli

TRACKLIST:

  1. Lies-Strangled Skies
  2. World So Spurious
  3. Rebels In Disguise
  4. Thrall Of Illusions
  5. Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes)
  6. Satanists Out Of Cosmic Jail
  7. Upheaval In Chaos Waters
  8. We Whose Glory Was Despised

REVIEW: Norwegian black metal mythology has become a farce with countless books being written about its folklore and media sensation rather than the music itself. Pioneers are now enterprises dabbling in wine productions, clothing lines and whatnot. Whimsical memes are flying across the internet at a pace where one simply cannot keep up anymore. Then again, black metal should not be restricted by limits… how amusing and paradoxical this genre has become.

I’ve been digging a lot into the French black metal scene these past two years. What I’ve uncovered are myriads of extremely attractive sounds that can also be a bit outlandish and trying at times. The important thing is that it keeps on evolving, taking forms of music and meshing them into new horrific soundscapes. Glorior Belli are one of many French black metal bands emerging after the turn of the century. They’ve had an interesting progression since inception, and the latest album features some killer black metal that’s epic, a bit vikingesque and not bizarre at all, as I would’ve expected.

glorior_belli_cover
Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes) – Artwork credit: Infestvvs

The band has adopted a few styles through six albums going from a conventional form of black metal towards something connected to stoner/southern vibes. With “Sundown…” the band has returned to robust, blastbeat charged attacks, as the listener will hear in tracks like “Thrall Of Illusions”, “Satanists Out Of Cosmic Jail” and the opening track “Lies Strangled Skies”, all displaying fierce black metal urgency, channeled by sole aggressor Infestvvs.

The album, for the most part, focuses on epic, majestic riffs and urgent blastbeats with little to no use of keyboards. “Rebels In Disguise” is the only track that relies on the band’s now recognized groove based playing. It might be a strange observation, but I tend to think that many of the songs have a viking metal character in the atmospheric register without sounding folky or happy. Some of the riffs have shades of early Amon Amarth, the warlike sound quality in the fast passages don’t conjure up your typical cavernous black metal, excessively mixed or low-fi; the conclusion must then be that “Sundown…” at least has an interesting sound world for those keen on exploring this kind of music.

glorior_belli_promo01_2
Glorior Belli

I am positively surprised by this album. I don’t consider myself a devotee of the band since I don’t know them that well, but “Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes)” has definitely started the process of me becoming one.

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