Bound By Entrails – Overture To The Fallen

This seems to be a moderately interesting attempt at fusing early Emperor style romantic fantasy black metal with modern viking influenced folk/black.  Something necessarily gets lost in the translation between those two styles but hey, at least they’re trying something different.  The band seems to attempt to employ the atmosphere and aesthetic of the former with the musical structures of the latter; the combination is rather unique, and while the styles do grind against each other a fair bit from time to time, it’s still a better fusion than most would be able to manage.

The production seems to be an attempted cloning of Emperor’s self-titled EP with a very thin, broad guitar tone stretched taut like a membrane under a shimmering skeleton of programmed drums and Ihsahnesque vocals.  The beginning of ‘Bitter Nectar’ almost brings to mind material off ‘In The Nightside Eclipse’, with its slow, declarative drums under initial riff before bursting into tremolo and blast beat intensity.  Comparisons with Emperor become a little harder to draw after that though when the guitars begin to dominate after the initial chaos, with riffing clearly heavily melodically influenced by Drudkh, but co-opted and placed in a framework of traditional black metal.  It’s… interesting, I suppose, particularly when contrasted with the thrashier sections on songs like ‘Flame And Hammer’.  I’ve never been a fan of Drudkh though, so I have to admit that overall it falls a tad flat for me in places.

The programming is of the variety that doesn’t make much of an attempt to make beats that most drummers would conceivably play, opting for streams of blasting and double bass interrupted by strange, syncopated cymbal/snare interplay.  The vocals are executed reasonably but are rather buried in the production and soaked in a bit too much reverb.  Folk influences seem to pop in from time to time in some of the yearning, melancholic riffs, but they interact strangely with the vocals and overtly intense programming.  The music fights itself a lot of the time, with two styles of black metal demanding the listeners attention and running alongside each other at once.  It’s unusual, yes, but not a very pleasing listen in a lot of cases.

Really my opinion on this demo is rather split; it has just as many interesting and novel elements as nonsensical and clumsy ones, and a lot of the time they’re one and the same.  I’ll give it something of the benefit of the doubt, though.  It holds my attention pretty well and I like some of the riffs, which is enough to put it a bit above average for me.

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~ by noktorn on September 2, 2008.

One Response to “Bound By Entrails – Overture To The Fallen”

  1. I appreciate the unsolicited review! One small correction though, we’ve never used programming. That is a live drummer by the name of Mortaeus. But I’m sure that he will be flattered to know that he plays like a machine.

    We are far beyond that demo now, working on our second full-length. Check out our new teaser track “Tides of Perdition” from the upcoming “The Oath to Forbear and the Burden of Inheritance”. Here’s a link to the mp3:

    [audio src="http://www.runefirerecords.com/audio/RUNEFIRE_RECORDS-Tides_of.mp3" /]

    Cheers,
    Velg

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