Saturday, 25 May 2013

Gevurah - Necheshirion (2013) | 83%

Pretenders to the throne of Lucifer!

As I said in my review for Décombres' debut, I really think that the Québec black metal scene is one of the strongest in the world and probably the best in America. The scene always had a particular sound hugely rooted in icy atmosphere recalling the nationalistic views of certain musicians. Gevurah managed to break out of these imaginary boundaries with this EP and they did it marvelously. They don't play the chauvinism card and are not relying on the cold weather and snowy trees to build an atmosphere. I usually sense a Norwegian influence on the current black metal scene from my province and while it's noticeable here, it's much more Swedish.

Gevurah is blending the traditional sense of onslaught of the dark genre with the modern sound of nowadays with a lot of verve and honesty. On this 32 minutes EP, the duo plays an aggressive but atmospheric form of métal noir reminding me of bands like Funeral Mist or Ofermod. It sounds very European and it's influenced by the orthodox black metal scene.
It's indeed a mixture of Sweden and France for me, it reminds me of Deathspell Omega or Aosoth but nourished with the full blown attack of the the classiest Marduk albums. The songs are long (but could be longer since they really have the skills necessary to write these) and intricate and they're offering a wide variety of atmosphere. The first eight minutes track starts with a slow riff before the fast avalanche of pure unadulterated aggression. The second track Flesh Bounds Desacratred is a very fast paced number and it's evil as fuck, well the whole album reeks of evilness, really. The vocal approach is also quite spectacular, Thoth is a very talented dude (he's also handling the insane drums). I've seen one of his former bands (Atonement) live, and he destroys. His delivery is strong and the intonation of his voice fits the cold and harsh songwriting. The lyrics are sometimes pretty intelligible as well adding to the occult atmosphere. Produced by the band itself, the album sounds massive, the sound's quality is blameless. It doesn't try to be vintage or to be a member of a particular scene. The fact that one of the members has his own recording studio definitely helped the pristine quality of the mix. The sound of the album really helped the songs to be what they should be, 5 dark diverse offerings complimented with a devilish sound. The last track is a cover of the Swedish band Malign and it's quite baleful. I liked that they're not covering Mayhem, Darkthrone or any big bands that every South American bands and their cousins are covering. ''Ah fuck, not a cover of Funeral Moon again!''. It's also fun to hear a different style of black arts, their 4 original songs are all much slower and epic whereas the the cover is faster and shorter. It still fits their sound though and it easily demonstrates that the band has many tricks up its sleeve.

To help them on their quest, the musicianship of our heroes is pretty strong. I can safely say that all the ingredients are at their rightful place and while not showing off, the album has a good technical vibe for the style. They're never crossing into avant garde territory though and are always atmospheric even when it's very fast. Although I'm not a fan of orthodox black metal, Gevurah's formula really works. They have the right balance between speedy blastbeats induced parts and slow, crushing tremolo riffs. Another force of this album is that there's absolutely no crappy ambient fillers with violin, chanting monks or satanic monkeys or any shit shit like that. The Montrealer duo is beyond a doubt ready for a full length adventure and Profound Lore were very wise to sign them for this release.

Evolving into a specter characterized by a huge spiritual influence, an orthodox satanist approach and the whole approach is very well done thanks to a deep investment into the art side of the band. It's not your usual cold and forest black metal nor your ''for the glory of Satan'' Dark Funeral imitators. There's a thorough research made by the members, I thought of Behemoth for a moment. Say what you want about Nergal but the lyrical side of his band is complete, interesting and deviates from the anti-christian norm and Gevurah aims to acheive such level of imagery. It's not that I dislike when our black metal bands are using the heritage as their lyrical themes but when most of them are doing it, I think it's a bit tiresome. My 2 favorites of the QCBM scene are Gris and Akitsa and similarly to Gevurah, they both have original and distinctive themes.

Necheshirion is a very strong EP full of qualities for both traditionalists black metallers and those who like some innovation and modernity in their blend of dark atmosphere. They have a lot of potential and I'd certainly like them to push the envelope even more, they have the skills to become a big band. After an excellent demo, their first EP is quite epic and highly recommended!

Gevurah (click the candles, eh)

Buy the album on Profound Lore

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