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Written in Torment - Black Command Award winner

Written in Torment
WrBlack Command
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 03 August 2022, 1:39 PM

The North American Black Metal School evolved in a form that’s pretty different from other countries, because the early acts had a Death/Black Metal insight, or gathered influences of Old School German Thrash Metal to build a Black/Thrash form. But as things evolved, North American Black Metal came to have a defined DNA, because all the elements of USA Metal School can be detected on them (a care for the instrumental arrangements, the use of a refined technical touch, and even subjective melodies in the case of extreme Metal bands). And WRITTEN IN TORMENT brings a very good work on “Black Command”.

The band’s music is a form of Black Metal that earns the darkened aggressiveness of the genre, but is filled with some features that aren’t usual for the genre (as the guitar solos during “Anger Road”, some melancholic feeling and ambiences omnipresent on the songs due some keyboards parts), and the richness of arrangements and contrasts. It can be said that the musical ideas of the only band matured in a very natural form, and the morbid energy and melodic/darkened appeal of the songs are elements hard to resist to. And what energy flows from these songs! The production worked in a form that could make things sound as a Black Metal album with an older appeal, because the instrumental tunes are organic and simple, even during symphonic moments (enriched by keyboards). But all was done to be understood, so it’s not so hard to understand what’s being expressed during the songs. Based on the album about the life and crimes of Jonathan Martin, the infamous arsonist of the Minster Cathedral in York, “Black Command” is a deep dive into a blackened and melancholic form of music.

“Anger Road” is darkened and full of contrasts between aggressive moments and atmospheric ones, with simple and hooking guitars shaping the melodies. The same happens on “Contra Passo”, besides this one shows a more aggressive side of the band’s music, with a solid and massive work of bass guitar and drums on the rhythms (and what lovely darkened melodies in some moments that are enriched by keyboards). “The Allure of the Dark” endures more than 8 minutes, so be prepared for shifts between aggressive and symphonic moments (with a very good technical work of bass guitar). With more than eight minutes as well, “Mors Ultima” brings a song with an evident atmospheric trend, with snarls and shrieks contrasting with horror-like keyboards parts.

The darkened and somber appeal of “Black Command” seduces easily the fans, because the whirlwind formed by the keyboards and guitars is fine (and even some clean vocals can be heard here). And using an aggressive and morbid aesthetics, “Dies Irae” is a great song, with an amazing work of the drums (with many Old School Thrash Metal influences and good clean vocals once more). “Black Command” is a very good surprise, and Black Metal fans can dive deep into WRITTEN IN TORMENT’s music without fear. It’s excellent!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Anger Road
2. Contra Passo
3. The Allure of the Dark
4. Mors Ultima
5. Black Command
6. Dies Irae
Lineup:
Leviathan - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Prometheus - Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Storm - Drums
Record Label: Purity Through Fire Records
     


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