Limbonic Art

SPEC­TRE ABYSM

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Subterrane­a - | CAN­DLE­LIGHT | DAYAL PAT­TER­SON

Sym­phonic black metal pi­o­neer re­turns

Limbonic Art first ap­peared on the Nor­we­gian black metal scene back in the early-to-mid90s, mak­ing their mark in ’96 with Moon In The Scorpio. Re­leased on Samoth’s Noc­tur­nal Art Pro­duc­tions la­bel, this early en­try in the fast-de­vel­op­ing sym­phonic black sub­genre was hailed a mas­ter­piece by many, and re­mains one of the move­ment’s most bom­bas­tic al­bums. Un­like many peers who opted for heavy key­board use, their oth­er­worldly BM never wan­dered into softer, gothic ter­ri­to­ries, al­ways main­tain­ing a fu­ri­ous, ag­gres­sive edge. Af­ter six al­bums, Mor­feus de­parted, leav­ing Dae­mon to pro­duce 2010’s dis­ap­point­ing Phan­tas­mago­ria al­bum alone. Spec­tre Abysm, Dae­mon’s sec­ond solo ef­fort, is a re­turn to past glo­ries in most re­spects. The hall­mark at­mos­phere of glo­ri­ous melo­drama and ec­cen­tric­ity bor­der­ing on mad­ness is ev­i­dent from the mar­catis­simo in the in­tro­duc­tion of the aptly named opener, De­monic Res­ur­rec­tion. The light­ning-fast pro­grammed drums – an­other long­time hall­mark of the band that may turn off some lis­ten­ers – also re­main, with fu­ri­ous yet lengthy riffs re­call­ing the band’s early works, and that clas­sic Scan­di­na­vian 90s ap­proach, with their apoc­a­lyp­tic fury. But put sim­ply, this is what makes this al­bum a cre­ative suc­cess, at least for those who still en­joy an ear­lier ap­proach to BM. In an era where dis­so­nant but ul­ti­mately for­get­table riffs dom­i­nate much of the mod­ern BM scene, Limbonic Art re­mind us that you can build in­tense and heavy songs with apoc­a­lyp­tic fer­vour, while util­is­ing strong hooks and melodies with­out tip­ping over into the more twee ter­ri­to­ries of some ‘melodic black metal’. That said, this isn’t a per­fect al­bum. The stronger ma­te­rial is pushed to the first half, with the afore­men­tioned gui­tars be­ing slightly less vi­tal in later tracks. But it’s a small com­plaint since the qual­ity never drops sig­nif­i­cantly and the un­hinged zealot-like vo­cals are the ic­ing on this frosty cake.

Dae­mon’s cre­ative spark has not been ex­tin­guished

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