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Cell - Ancient Incantations of Xarbos Award winner

Ancient Incantations of Xarbos
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 04 October 2019, 5:59 AM

The ones who came into the Metal scene after the second half of the 90’s can create a wrong idea: that Black Metal was born by the hands of Norwegian bands. No, the genre was born by the hands of the English trio VENOM, and got improvements from names as BATHORY from Sweden and SARCÓFAGO from Brazil. Obviously SODOM, DESTRUCTION, KREATOR, HELLHAMMER/CELTIC FROST, SLAYER and some others gave their contributions as well. These countless influences were mixed many times, and on the work of the Canadian trio CELL they can be felt. A single listening to “Ancient Incantations of Xarbos”, their second and latest work, will show it clearly.

Obviously they are a Black Metal band with many features from bands from Norway and Sweden, but many Black/Thrash influences can be heard as well, enriching and empowering the trio’s musical work. There are many very good tempo changes, a darkened and morbid ambience in each track aligned with a good technical insight. And the songs bear an aggressive energy, as well some somber hooking melodies, and a personal insight into Black Metal. All these words were written to state that their music is really very good. Ryan Forsyth (producer, mixing) and Jamie Sitar (mastering) efforts resulted on a harsh and aggressive sound quality, but it sounds clear and defined to the listeners’ ears in a way that everyone can understand what is being played. And the instrumental tunes used by the band reinforce the crude touch that the band’s songs show.

The fine tempo changes of “Defiling the Ancient Hierarchy” (very good work from bass guitar and drums), the brutality made music called “Alll I See is Them” (excellent guitar riffs and vocals), the piledriving rhythmic onslaught of “The Wailing Sea of Emptiness” and of “God of the NetherRealm”, and the long massive show of sharp guitars and agonizing shrieks of “Altering Matter in the Realm of the Frost King” are the album’s finest moments, but all songs are excellent. “Ancient Incantations of Xarbos” is really an excellent album, conceived to satisfy every Black Metal fan, and even fans from other Metal genres. And an idea that comes to mind after hearing this album is why in the blazes CELL doesn’t have a record label working with its releases?

Originality: 8
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Rise of Gorthar
2. Defiling the Ancient Hierarchy
3. Alll I See is Them
4. The Wailing Sea of Emptiness
5. Ancient Incantations of Xarbos
6. God of the NetherRealm
7. The Valley of Assimilation
8. Altering Matter in the Realm of the Frost King
Hyperion - Guitars, Vocals
Deimos - Bass, Backing Vocals
Hypnos - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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