Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Galar : "De Gjenlevende"

 These Bergen boys are brought this strain of melodic black metal out from the cold back in March. The first song which translates to "the Surviving" has well layered guitar that make even the blasting seem like it's moody. The clean vocals come in towards the four minute mark  . They a lower tenor and very folk inflected. They throw themselves into a thrashing section that reminds me of old Istapp. Towards the end of the song it swell into something even more epic like mid-period Enslaved. The drummer has played with Vried, so you know he has chops.

The clean vocals lead the way  into "Night and Silence a Forgotten Life" . The song twists in and out of blast beats , sometimes in a more thrashy manner than others. "The Book's Anthem" starts with a piano piece and piano has already popped up in sparse bursts around the blasting so its not a huge surprise. It sounds like a banjo is also tossed in the mix to add to the folk flavor. The harsher vocals are a dry mid-range rasp. The clean singing is scattered around the screams. To their credit they do not switch back and forth in the expected places.Most of the songs are around the nine minute mark which is much longer than the average song length, but they make the most out of the time. The piano interlude "Light" follows this one and serves as the intro to "Shepard's Heavy Footsteps" which is a thick blast beaten blur. The chorus of clean vocals comes in less than four minutes in, but the band doesn't slow to accommodate them into going into a rapid galloping section. They do hit a more syncopated groove that really adds to the song.

The last song is the first to dip over ten minutes and the clean vocal's are almost more dominate than the wretched vocals. It's melodic and they have a lot going on, but they begin to lose my attention at this point. The blast become a blur until they ease onto the ride cymbal and it becomes more folk metal. The bass becomes more audible in this song. The redeem themselves by building up into a swell of guitar melodies. This album is worth a listen if you like blackened folk metal and need something new ,as they have a pretty fresh take on it , without deviating out the often limited comfort zones of the more avid fans of traditional black metal. I'll give it an 8.

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