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Orgrel – Red Dragon’s Invocation

Orgrel
Red Dragon’s Invocation
by Ben Gardiner at 22 November 2021, 10:30 PM

The elusive and mighty sounding ORGREL release their first album "Red Dragon’s Invocation" through Iron Bonehead Productions and its familiar brand of trve, classic Black Metal feels like a warm embrace after almost two years of everything feeling very unfamiliar. Delivering on all the tropes, this full length is rife with blast beats, scratchy guitar riffs, far from clean production and growly vocals. The album art is immensely beautiful, drawing from occult art, channelling woodblock and fluid painting to create a macabre scene full of detail, mixing vivid colour with bold blacks and browns, depicting all manner of nightmarish creatures, skeletons, grave diggers, bats, the titular red dragon and an intense number of skulls, all bordered by snakes and bones.

An uplifting and powerful tremolo riff kicks off track one of the album, “Burning Ruins.” Accented crashes make the blast beats stick to the melody like glue, the trashy hi hat and soft snare turn the drums into a wave of dense sound and the riff is gritty yet joyous, thrilling high notes ringing through the tremolo. The vocals enter as the riff turns down a darker path, the growled voice providing an aggressive and fearsome attitude. The dial is turned up to 11 with track 2, starting off much the same as the first song but with everything happening in a much quicker, frenzied manner. Fast blast beats and forceful vocals pound like a sonic hammer and the guitar provides a steady, shrill tremolo. The instrumentation pulls back in velocity and an emotive touch is added through the softening of the vocals and the melodic guitar riff. Pulling away from the blasting gives the drums some room to breathe, and the result is a heavy double bass groove under a rhythmic pattern of simplistic hi hat and snare.

Gate of Eternal Life” feels sluggish and Doomy, beginning with a repeated guitar melody underlined by a slow paced, drumbeat utilizing the power of the ride bell. The vocals come in hard and heavy, guttural shouts rife with aggression. Fear not if you were missing the blast beats, as this song still has plenty of heaviness to throw your way. “Carved in Blood” caps off the album with some shrill tremolo and more ferocious blast beats, the mechanical sound of the ride bell accents combined with the whistling of the guitar tones gives this song all the power of a train, roaring and shaking to create an intense and heavy finale.

Another great Black Metal release of this year, ORGREL solidify themselves as purveyors of classical sounding pure BM that is as accessible as it is enjoyable. Good song writing, excellent instrumentation and production that perfectly channels the era of music they’re inspired by, you could easily mistake this as an album from the 90s second wave of Black Metal.

Songwriting:  7
Musicianship:  8
Memorability:  6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Burning Ruins
2. Amor Fati
3. Surrounded by Nothing
4. Gate of Eternal Life
5. Torn Flag
6. Fiery Dawn Cry
7. Carved in Blood
Lineup:
Unknown
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
     


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