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Deathless Legacy - Rituals Of Black Magic

Deathless Legacy
Rituals Of Black Magic
by Jon Conant at 19 February 2018, 3:21 AM

DEATHLESS LEGACY is back with their 4th full length effort since debuting in 2013: “Rituals of Black Magic”. The Italian symphonic horror metal aficionados have attempted to pave a path down the post-Annete-Olsen-in-Nightwish era, but it’s tough to say this genre is particularly in demand. And I can’t say that this album in any way elevated the sound of the band much beyond their previous work or the genre in general.

The songs are long and grandiose, but without doing anything new or noteworthy to keep you engaged. The album subsequently drags on a bit, it can be a tedious listen. Especially when you tack on the overdone pageantry of the gothic/symphonic/horror themes. That being said, there is nothing on this album that is particularly bad, the instrumentalists are locked into their parts seamlessly and lead vocalist Steva defines DEATHLESS LEGACY’s sound with her bright and forward clean vocals and the occasional (and very welcome) screams. She is definitely a high point of the band’s sound.

Originality is the biggest thing holding them back here. In a niche genre such as this, you have to keep pushing forward with your sound and trying new things. It feels like we don’t get a lot of that here, while it’s all generally well done (I don’t love the production), it’s nothing we haven’t heard before from this very specific sub-genre.

Instrumental and symphonic opener “The Grimoire” is not particularly interesting, and serves the opposite of it’s purpose by making you wonder when the album will start as opposed to getting excited. Track 2 and title track “Rituals of Black Magic” was a misplaced second opener, and continues the slow start.

Track 4 “Vigor Mortis” is the first song on the album to elevate above the rest with a catchy guitar riff pushing the verses into a powerhouse of chorus that is epic and powerful, driven by the AMAZING vocals of Steva. I wish they had mixed her a little bit louder, that being said it sounds fantastic and she is blending with the instrumentalists beautifully. Sometimes on those high belting parts you just really want to hear it! We also get some exciting and unique piano work in the bridge of the song, that was excellent.

Track 5 “Bloodbath” smartly capitalizes off the forward momentum of “Vigor Mortis” and switches into a more chugging groove and pulsating chorus. It does get a little generic, but a catchy enough tune to push the album in a positive forward direction. The bridge breakdown is actually one of the cooler riffs I’ve heard in a while, down tuned a bit more and given a little pluck, we would would be hearing DJENT. Mega kudos.

Other highlights include “Ars Goetia,” where we hear some of the more impressive and fast paced guitar work, followed by a locked in groove&chunk, before another powerhouse chorus. Also, “Haruspex” where we hear more of the djenty guitar work, which is a quick way to my heart. It’s still not as heavy as I might ideally like, but it’s a hell of an effort from a metal band that’s in the mild tier of heaviness, ultimately. This sounds like it was straight off of “Dark Passion Play,” which is a big compliment.

Track 8 “Hex” was an attempt to throw a particularly heavy track into the back half of the album, complete with an extra helping of harsh vocals. It was such a good idea, but something about the main chorus riff is off and non-appealing. The song serves an opposite effect as intended.

Album closer “Dominus Inferi” fittingly falls into the monotony of the album opener, attempting to end on an epic and grand note, but falling just flat.

If you’re into the the female fronted brand of symphonic horror metal, there is some interesting stuff here for sure. I highly recommend “Vigor Mortis” and “Haruspex.” Just don’t expect the album to blow you away.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:

1. The Grimoire
2. Rituals of Black Magic
3. Abyss
4. Vigor Mortis
5. Bloodbath
6. I Summon the Spirits
7. Homunculus
8. Ars Goetia
9. Hex
10. Read the Bones
11. Litch
12. Haruspex
13. Dominus Inferi

Lineup:
Steva - Vocals and Performances
Frater Orion (The Necromancer) - Drums and scenographies
Alex van Eden (Alessio Lucatti) - Organ and keyboards
Sgt. Bones - Guitar
C-AG1318 (The Cyborg) - Bass and vocals
Anfitrite - Performances
Record Label: Scarlet Records
     


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Edited 19 June 2019
 

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