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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Reviews: Louise Lemon, Glorior Belli, Inkvisitor, Betrayal Incorporated (Reviews By Rich)

Louise Lemón: Purge EP (Icons Creating Evil Art Records)

Now for something a bit out of my comfort zone as this is not a rock or metal album. This is the debut album by Sweden's Louise Lemón and I've just spent the duration of the album with the hairs on my arms standing on end. Louise Lemón has a very dark atmospheric sound which combines elements of folk, soul, pop, gothic and ambient almost sounding like an apocalyptic gospel. These songs are hugely immersive and the music takes you on a journey along with it.

Dripping with darkness, melancholy and beauty I found it impossible not to fall head first into songs such as Appalacherna and Let Me In. The vocals by Louise herself are captivating and soulful reaching a peak on the stunning Shipwreck. Louise Lemón has fully impressed me with her debut album and opened my eyes to a style of music I normally wouldn't check out. If you are a fan of Chelsea Wolfe or Myrkur then this is a must hear album. 8/10

Glorior Belli: The Apostates (Season Of Mist)

Glorior Belli are a name I've seen mentioned but haven't up until now checked out any of their material. Hailing from France, Glorior Belli are on album number seven with their latest release The Apostates. Glorior Belli play an interesting combination of black metal mixed with southern sludge metal. It's a very refreshing change from the tried and tested black metal formula and definitely got my attention. You still have the characteristics of black metal such as tremolo riffs, harsh vocals and blast beats but they are underlayed by a groove and some bluesy riffage.

It may sound polarising but it's a combination that works. As the album progresses the sludge elements are more brought to the foreground but unfortunately that does mean that the album does get less interesting as it goes on. The strongest songs are definitely in the first half of the album such as the killer title track and Deserters Of Eden. The last half does have its moments such as Runaway Charley which is a ridiculously catchy number. This is a cool album which shows that black metal still has a few tricks up its sleeve but the lack of consistency throughout the album prevents this from getting a higher score. 7/10

Inkvisitor: Dark Arts Of Sanguine Rituals (Ain’t No Hääv Records)

Inkvisitor are a thrash metal band from Finland and this is their second album Dark Arts Of Sanguine Rituals which is the first new material with the bands new line up. Dark Arts Of Sanguine Rituals is a concept album which is a rarity in thrash metal though the songs can be listened individually. Unfortunately I found Dark Arts Of Sanguine Rituals a bit of a flat album. I'm a huge thrash metal fan and know what makes a good thrash album which is plenty of speed and aggression but also with that sense of fun.

 This album rarely picks up the pace and most songs fall into a mid paced lull with uninteresting riffs and forgettable songwriting. There are one or two songs where the album did perk up which is Paradigm Shift and The Revenant (Redeemer) but on the whole I was bored throughout this album. These guys obviously know their thrash as the good moments were very good but it seems to me that they concentrated too much on the album concept rather than the individual songwriting and as a result we got a rather dull album. 5/10

Betrayal Incorporated: Everything Is Backwards (Self Released)

Everything Is Backwards is album number three from British metal band Betrayal Incorporated. Betrayal Incorporated are not a band I am familiar with and based from this album unfortunately not a band I shall be revisiting as Everything Is Backwards generally is a mess. The band seemed like they could not decide on a style to play so they try and incorporate as many different styles into one album and sometimes one song which leads to a wildly inconsistent listening experience. You have elements of traditional heavy metal and hard rock, blues rock, groove metal, stoner metal and thrash metal all combined together which is just a bit too much and it doesn't help that the songs generally are forgettable.

There is more than one instrumental song on the album which is a bit self indulgent but at least it gives you a break from the truly dreadful vocals of frontman Carlo Caci who butchers nearly every song he sings on sounding horrifically off key at many points. The one song where his vocals don't grate as much and probably the best song on the album is Metal Up Your Ass where the band adopt a thrashier style and Carlo gives a more aggressive and improved vocal performance. The guys in Betrayal Incorporated can certainly play their instruments but they need to refine their songwriting and try not to throw so much into an album. They should definitely consider getting a frontman who can sing as well. 4/10

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