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Numenorean - Adore

by Martin Knap at 29 April 2019, 6:20 PM

NUMENOREAN is a Post-Black metal five piece band from Canada, who are releasing their sophomore album through Seasons of Mist. Two little pieces of trivia: 1. the band’s name refers to a place in the Lord of the Rings lore, 2. their debut album had a picture of a dead child on it, for which I remember them getting a lot of hate online. I’ve only listened to them in passing, but I remember them as that band with a controversial album cover. I can’t say much about the debut, or the progress that the band has made in the three years since it was released, but I’ve been hearing only praise so far for “Adore,” so let’s see how well deserved it is.

NUMENOREAN’s style ticks all Post-Black Metal boxes: there are parts Black Metal riffing and blast-beats, but also melodic leads and groovier riffs, moody, shoe-gazy sections abruptly ended by intense riffing and drumming. But NUMENOREAN sound also isn’t cookie-cutter, they are not a band aping DEAFHEAVEN – who, as one online commenter hilariously puts it, can sound like a mix of IMMORTAL and DINOSAUR JR. – or HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY. A lot of the Black Metal sounding parts remind me of atmospheric, “Cascadian” bands like PANOPTICON or FALLS OF RAUROS, some in the more melodic parts give me a latter-day ENSLAVED kind of vibe in more than one case (like the chorus riff of “Horizon”).

Although the band uses all typical Post-Black Metal tropes, they know how to make songs work: all songs have a good ebb and flow and progress toward a climax, and even the longer ones don’t feel directionless. The eight and a half minutes long “Portrait of Pieces” has a hard-hitting Black Metal section followed by a part with nice melody and groove. A moody, shoe-gazy section comes a part with an almost relaxed vibe, followed by an intense climax. The different parts flow nicely into each other and don’t feel shoehorned between the others. “Regret” has a memorable chorus hook, I also love the mid-section where the drummer uses odd time signature. The title song has beefy, driving riffs and emotional clean vocal and chants. Brandon Lemley vocals overall deserve a mention – he’s pretty versatile and I enjoy his Grutle Kjellson-like gurgling growls.

Adore” is the kind of record that flows really well and before you know you’ve listened to it to the end (it is also not very long – five songs without the short instrumentals and interludes). The music has both bite and a certain sweetness, which makes for a really catchy combination, the replay value is also great. This is one of the more memorable releases that I’ve heard this year so far.

Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Nocebo
2. Portrait of Pieces
3. Horizon
4. And Nothing Was the Same
5. Regret
6. Stay
7. Coma
8. Alone
9. Adore
10. DDHS

Alex Kot - Bass
Byron Lemley - Vocals, Guitars
Brandon Lemley - Vocals
David Horrocks - Drums
Roger LeBlanc - Guitars, Vocals

Record Label: Season of Mist


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