Sunday, December 20, 2015

Shroud of the Heretic : " Unorthodox Equilibrium"

Here's band that gotten a plug from some of the more trusted sources in metal...Kim Kelly and Cvlt Nation,  and I get what might be impressive with the atmosphere this band creates it seems like they work in first and second gear. The atmospheric section they end the first song with sounds like they just picked up where they left off on the second song. The heaviness turns to a doomier pulse with double bass flowing under it before they speed up into a storm of death metal. If you have ever been confused as to where black metal ends and death metal begins this album is a good reference point as it's not blackened at all the only cross over might be into doom. Though the dividing factor is while they are playing slow it's not mournful at all and works off one emotion. While it might be a violence that is the outward explosion of depression that was turned inward it never the less carried a deathly wrath to it.

The guitar solo in the second song does cry out with more sorrow than your typical death metal band, so they get props for that. At ten minutes this songs does tend to drag a little, but the drone they create is not the atmospheric kind that black metal bleeds from it's sonic chaos, but one of lethargy. You might be surprised at this point to learn their drummer is a girl, so it makes sense why they are able to hold back. I have played with a girl drummer before and the give and take it they don't have the power so make up for it by being very tasteful and playing around where the thunder would go. The drums sit back into boomy mix so the fact they sound distant hides some of the pitter patter. They go for more of a straight forward blast of sorts on " Sprawling Black Mass Consummation".  They begin to get a little sloppy here and start to lose me and at this point we still have six minutes left to endure if it doesn't improve. They take a more mellow breather at the four minute mark, allowing the guitars time to play some what of a solo. They create some what of an ebb and flow , but it's still a little messy, the build back up is faster but not more powerful.

The longest song is save for last. It starts off with some ambiance and then loses me a murky blasting that throws most of the dynamics they showed earlier in the album out the window.  It builds up a more sonic roar like a dragon yawning in a cave. Then at the nine minute mark things die down and the revert back to the prettier thing they do for a second or two then another almost doomy riff builds up around in the songs most impressive moment. Overall I'll give this a 6.5 , I can hear where they are going with this and like the idea often more than the execution, but appreciate this none the less.

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