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Word Of Life - Jahbulon

Word Of Life
Jahbulon
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 20 February 2018, 6:56 AM

Hailing from Athens, Greece, comes the Progressive/Extreme Metal quartet WORD OF LIFE. Formed in 2013, “the band’s aim is to create and express art, musically and lyrically, in a more esoteric and unique way. Word of Life brings ancient Eastern and Greek traditions into the raw power of metal music.” Following the release of an EP in 2015, they present their debut full-length album here titled “Jahbulon,” which contains ten tracks.

“A Sprig of Acacia” leads off the album, with some heavy accented rhythms and drop tuning that reminds me of what we might hear if BLACK SABBATH was transported to modern times, and given updated instruments. Vocal are done both in the Death and clean style, and dual guitar harmonies add some layers to an overall doomy sort of sound. The title track, “Jahbulon,” is where some of the aforementioned Eastern traditions can be heard, in the opening guitar sequence. From Wikipedia, “Jahbulon is a word which is allegedly used in some rituals of Royal Arch Masonry, and derivations thereof.” The track is weighted and lumbering, with a simple repeated riff in the verses that is punishing, and a drawn out, more melodic chorus.

“Master of the Royal Secret” has a slow, rhythmic groove from vocals that are almost chants, and create a hypnotic effect. Vasilis’s Death vocals are very guttural and a great fit for the harder aspects of the track. You have the sense that the song celebrates a ritual or passing of some sort. The short instrumental, “Deus Meumque Jus” uses acoustical guitars in the manner that you might hear a Sitar, with toms clacking in the background pushing the beat, like the swinging hips of a danseur in the marketplace, teasing you to look upon her wares. “Ierodom” is a beast of a riff driven instrumental mammoth that wanders a barren landscape with the destination as his incentive to keep going. I don’t usually care for repeated riffs but they could lay on this for days and I would not tire from hearing it. It’s just downright bossy.

“The Female Seed and the Fungus” is a nebulous song title for a track that brings an equal amount of intrigue and mystery in the sound. The acoustic verses are pensive while the chorus cries out in lamentation. You can hear more of that Eastern influence here in the chord progressions as well. “In Silence I Swore” has a trippy opening acoustical riff that ignites into flames with the addition of distorted guitars and raging Death vocals. A secondary riff add some nice texture to the song, which might be my favorite on the album. “Muaum” is another short and trippy instrumental, with what sounds like raspy breaths of snoring dragon in the background. “Jachin & Boaz” closes the album. It has an eclectic sound from a combination of spacey guitars and haunting chanted vocals that remain just far enough in the background to peak your sense of time and space when it comes to music.

Riffs. Fat, chunky, bossy, trippy, and hypnotic riffs drive this album, and there are plenty here for the liking.  Progressive/Melodic Death Metal is perhaps a decent start to describe the sounds on “Jahbulon,” but there is so much more going on. There are some real classic and traditional influences here as well, like I mentioned earlier in the review, as well as some NWOBHM and very noticeable Doom elements. They combine them in a way that pulses with their individuality as a band. This is an excellent debut full-length from a group that I believe you have better keep your eye on in the future.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. A Sprig of Acacia
2. Jahbulon
3. Master of the Royal Secret
4. Deus Meumque Jus
5. Ierodom
6. The Female Seed and the Fungus
7. In Silence I Swore
8. Muaum
9. The Word of Life
10. Jachin & Boaz
Lineup:
Vasilis Kranos – Vocals, Guitars
Thomas Kranos – Guitars
Spiros Batras – Bass
Giorgos Filippou – Drums 
Record Label: Sliptrick Records
     


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