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Glorior Belli - Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes) Award winner

Glorior Belli
Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes)
by Lauren Fonto at 24 August 2016, 11:43 PM

I admit that I’ve been meaning to give GLORIOR BELLI a proper listen for some time. “Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes) was an enjoyable first listening experience, and sees the French collective (currently narrowed down to main songwriter Billy Bayou) return to the bluesy, Southern rock-tinged sound of acclaimed album “The Great Southern Darkness”.

The blues influences are subtle, but still there nonetheless. “World So Spurious”, as well as the powerful closer “We Whose Glory Was Despised” are the most prominent examples which come to mind. Some of the guitar phrasing in the former has hints of the blues, while the latter fades out with a blues-tinged solo. While the fade-out is effective, I can’t help but wish that the solo had appeared earlier in the song so that more of it could be heard. Additionally, a hint of the blues shows itself in most of the slower sections on the tracks.

GLORIOR BELLI has produced a well-written and nuanced black metal album. The songwriting doesn’t follow expected song structures, such as blast-beating relentlessly or simply alternating between mid-tempo riffs and blasts. While blistering tremolo riffs abound in the blast sections, things are also slowed down here and there. “World So Spurious” brings the can’t-help-but-headbang blast beats, and then transitions into slowly-picked guitar riffs with an interesting bass line weaving around it. The title track, “Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes)” has an unexpected French spoken word part, which leads into a slower interlude.

Another aspect of the album I appreciated was the mix, which allowed the rich, dark tones of the music to shine through. The cymbals are mixed far back enough to avoid overwhelming other parts, and the bass is very clearly audible. With regards to drums, the blast beats are executed well, and other interesting fills are inserted judiciously. And despite the various rhythm changes in the songs, none of them come across as disjointed, while maintain an element of unpredictability.

This is band which deserves widespread appreciation of their distinctive style. I hope that they continue the trend established by the material on “Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes)”.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Lies-Strangles Skies
2. World So Spurious
3. Rebels in Disguise
4. Thrall of Illusions
5. Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes)
6. Satanists Out of Cosmic Jail
7. Upheaval in Chaos Waters
8. We Whose Glory Was Despised
Billy Bayou – Guitars, vocals
Record Label: Agonia Records


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