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Glorior Belli - The Apostates

Glorior Belli
The Apostates
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 21 May 2018, 7:20 AM

French Black Metal (ish) band GLORIOR BELLI have been on the scene for some time but I haven’t heard of them before this promo came across my virtual desk.  I’m always up for new Black Metal, especially bands that step outside the often too tight confines of the genre. The first track, “Sui Generis,” opens with a nice groovy riff that treads the line between Black Metal and regular ol rock and roll, much like later day SATYRICON.   The song does get a bit boring about half way through with boring sludge parts (a common problem with this album), but picks back up quickly after with wonderfully paced head banging riffs.  The song continues on a strong forward momentum.

The second track, “Deserters of Eden,” is a bit more of a traditional Black Metal track, with the fast riffing and blast beats.  It isn’t a bad song but after the unique opening track, it doesn’t really do anything to excite me.  It is rather curious how a band that tries to hard to add new elements and dynamics to Black Metal would actually throw some of the “same ol same ol” Black Metal sound into it.  However, all is not lost.  The last minute or so of the track brings back that southern style guitar work and the song finishes strongly. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, dear reader, the songs are just very inconsistent in their quality.  Although they can be mostly good, they do tend to have some boring parts, especially in the last half the album.

Without a doubt, the first four tracks on the album are the strongest.  Even with the songs having some rough parts, I would had rated the album much higher if the rest of the album kept of the overall high quality of these tracks. At track five, “Hangin’ Crepe,” I began to run into some problems.  The music is bland hard rock and the clean vocals are average at best.  This song doesn’t really have any intensity to it at all or any sort of indication it came from the same album as the previous four. “Runaway Charley,” has one of the worst choruses I’ve ever heard and it's done in a very basic, clean vocal shout.  Musically, it isn’t too bad but the long intro to the song really drags down the overall sound. The last track “Revel Reveries,” is not only a terrible way to close the album but also the worst song on the album.  Once again, the band steps paints a basic picture onto a bland canvas; there isn’t anything in this song that challenges the listener or moves the band’s own sound forward.  The clean vocals really drag it down as does the simple, clean guitar work.  The chorus treads middle ground as do the riffs.

Based on the strength of the first half of the album, I wanted to like it more.  Unfortunately, the album is just too inconsistent for my tastes.  It seems GLORIOR BELLI want to combine southern rock/sludge with Black Metal but too much of the time they seem to just play either or.  Not a bad album but it isn’t going to hold up after repeated listens.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Sui Generis
2. Deserters of Eden
3. The Apostates
4. Bedlam Bedamned
5. Hangin’ Crepe
6. Jerkwater Redemption
7. Split Tongues Won’t Atone
8. Runaway Charley
9. Revel Reveries
Lineup:
Billy Bayou – Vocals, Guitar
Arthur – Guitar
Marco – Bass
Rodon – Guitar
S - Drums
Record Label: Season of Mist
     


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