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Canis Dirus – Independence to the Beast

Canis Dirus
Independence to the Beast
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 28 January 2020, 3:36 AM

American Black Metal duo, CANIS DIRUS release their second EP in 2 years following the 2019 release of two-track, Das Leben ist fur die Lebenden, der Tod ist fur Alle. They have also had two full-length albums, A Somber Wind from a Distant Shore and Anden om norr which were released in 2009 and 2012 respectively. The song “The Child and the Serpent” was released by Bindrun Records  on the 21st of December. Let us find out what the duo have put together for Independence to the Beast

We Are the Ancient Ones” starts off with more of an old school Death Metal feel as far as instrumentals go. Vocals aren’t going to be easy to understand based on the opener and on previous work. The speed goes up and down, but is done so in a controlled manor so the melodies build up nicely. The melody turns to something you would expect from seasoned bands who have worked out how to mix the raw vocals with the beauty of the instrumentals, it is very well done. There is no pointless distortion which some new Black Metal bands feel the need to add. It sounds like something inspired by EMPEROR how it changes pace perfectly into a frenzied state, never losing composure, just giving our ears something new to hear. A solid start to this album.

Father” has an acoustic guitar start…where the fuck did that come from? It is an obviously slower song, it teases chances to explode, but remains with the slow spoken word vocals and acoustic guitars, even goes a bit folky midway. At least there is one song at least you can understand the vocals. Was not expecting this.

The Child and the Serpent” continues from the ending of “Father”, but you can hear something bigger and heavier is approaching, or so I thought. It picks up pace to more like AGALLOCH styles, with the raw vocals returning. The pace is more Atmospheric Black Metal, which is an interesting turn of events to say the least.  Feels so much more experimental than I was expecting at this point of the album. They have three songs with three different styles, although the last two have of course been closer.  As this is a longer song we may expect a few changes of styles and that what we get. From the 8-minute mark, it gets slightly heavier, feeling very experimental once more.  Still changing styles, trying out a few things.

To Cast the Runes” starts in similar stance to where “The Child and the Serpent” left off, if not even softer with the melody from the acoustics. Some more spoken word like in “Father”. It’s hard to work out how this falls in line with their previous works, which only “We Are the Ancient Ones” has stayed true to. This is again very progressive and experimental. Some samples towards the end have been added in to give the song a bit of depth, but it is hard to work out what sound the band portrays.

Extreme Might of Resolve” starts with a weird screech, which I thought was going to break the sound into something far heavier, more Black Metal. The vocals are a mix of screech and higher pitched spoken words, which is more Black Metal when you look at bands like EVILFEST, but not what I was expecting to hear here, though not much on this album is. The pace has returned, but it does not feel like they are going all out, still holding back a bit. After the 4-minute mark, they turn Thrash, like 80’s Bay Area Thrash with the instrumentals. Where did that come from? This lasts less than a minute and is replaced by some Atmospheric keyboards, not exactly what I would have gone for. Sounds like an 80’s horror film soundtrack, and just as you wonder what else will happen, Bay Area returns, keeping us in the 80’s with this great melody. I am so confused about this song, but I love all the different styles together.

Unyeilding” is 15 minutes long, what the hell will happen in this song? Starts off solid enough, building the melody nicely, sounding more lie a Melo Death song than Black Metal, but this album has not sounded like Black Metal, so it works. The pace is great and it is really catchy, you just know it’s gonna change, so it may be harder to get into the sound. And then it changes, going back to the sound “Father” welcomed us into earlier. Maybe this song is a mix of everything we’ve heard so far? Maybe coz after the acoustic styles we have the hard hitting return of “We Are the Ancient Ones”, which is such a welcomed return. So yes, this song is basically the entire album in short verse. The frenzied ended far too quickly and goes back to the progressive melodies again, which is maybe what you want to hear, or like me you want to see what the band can do. Thi9s next section does flirt with the heavier side, but only in small outbursts. Which it continues the treend until the end.

No idea what happened here, not what I was expecting at all. Its very experimental and very progressive with the sound. If you’re a fan of their previous works, this may not be for you. If you are into the Atmospheric Black styles, this could be your jam. It is an interesting one, one that I did no see coming.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. We Are the Ancient Ones
2. Father
3. The Child and the Serpent
4. To Cast the Runes
5. Extreme Might of Resolve
6. Unyeilding
Lineup:
RH aka Rob Hames – Lead Vocals
TMP aka Todd Paulson – Guitars, Bass & Keyboards
Record Label: Bindrun Records
     


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Edited 07 December 2022
 

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