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White Snake of Blackened Maze – By the Rivers of Heresy Award winner

White Snake of Blackened Maze
By the Rivers of Heresy
by Ben Gardiner at 24 January 2022, 9:08 PM

WHITE SNAKE OF BLACKENED MAZE offers up an intense, deeply crushing Black Metal spectacle of grand proportions. Packed with atmosphere, emotion, heavy passages and orchestral movements, all delivered with great soul. As the debut full length from the Belgium band, it is a mighty introduction that establishes WSOBM’s cinematic sonic approach. Letting the music speak for itself, the band retains mystery regarding their identities and much information surrounding them, but we can say for their certain that they are all talented artists with much to offer to the world of Black Metal.

Opening the album, and nicely laying the groundwork in terms of atmosphere and style, is the epic “The King,” which sort of feels like a few different songs mashed together, in a good way. I was particularly drawn to the pensive piano chords that delicately flutter through the track, feeling grounded whilst the music evolves around it, creating a motif. The first introduction we get to the vocals come in the form of a deep, throaty spoken word, there’s a real sense of urgency in the delivery, aided by the marching band snare build and the intermittent bursts of high-pitched guitar, pushing us closer and closer to the blast beat break we’ve been waiting for. The drums are clean sounding with a touch of raw, they create a great dense sound with deep tones, whilst the guitars remain high in pitch, which, along with the tinkling piano, puts the tone of the track high in the register, which differs from a lot of Black Metal.

Arise” is a very noteworthy track, opening with a unique and very memorable piano and whistling movement unlike anything I’ve heard for an intro and it’s so enjoyable I almost didn’t want the sudden eruption of blasting drums and screaming vocals to come – almost. When the rapid double bass drops out to a straight forward drum pattern, whilst the guitars retain the tremolo picking, it’s very reminiscent of first and second wave Black Metal, which touches upon one of the things that I think these guys do best, which is creating uniquely written songs with a powerful feeling of familiarity, moments like this keep the music very grounded in black Metal, giving you that warm, fuzzy ‘this feels like home’ feeling, and then they throw more piano-whistling into the mix and its completely new.

This is a fantastic, timeless sounding release from WHITE SNAKE OF BLACKENED MAZE,  a great achievement for the first timers to put out something so great. The atmosphere is so enveloping and engaging that it makes such an enjoyable listen, over and over again. The instrumentation is great, awesome guitar work throughout and the drums perfectly serve the sound, vocals are diabolical and consistent, and the song writing makes me want to keep coming back for more.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The King
2. Distrust thy Teacher
3. Faith and Denial
4. Smash the Low
5. Shadow March
6. Arise
7. Prayer at the Ruins
8. The Preacher of Nihil
9. Heretic Confessions (Heresikon)
Lineup:
Unknown
Record Label: Independent
     


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