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Resonance - Aquilus - Folterkammer - Seth





Aquilus – Bellum II                         9/10


From the debut release of Griseus in 2011, Australia’s Aquilus and its sole creator Horace Rosenqvist has not only created atmospheric metal but music that defies all expectations. His third release Bellum II concludes a journey eight years in the making delivered in two parts.

Bellum II is not just a record as it is a wholly sensory experience that is as demanding as it is rewarding. Trying to describe it is akin to trying to recollect the textures of a memory or a specific emotion in time. It is a personal event that uses all of Rosenqvist formidable talents. Bellum II is not as furious as its predecessor, yet it is brilliant, the black metal and its aesthetic still runs through its creative veins. It is also a classical neo folk marvel of songwriting prowess that is genre less and musically creative without peer.

‘’ Nigh To Her Gloam’’ is a sixteen-minute masterpiece that is a detailed multifaceted experience, that trying to accurately describe it is a disservice to its beauty, its grandiose pathos, its acoustic minimalism…. its everything. The classical is intertwined with the simplest and beautiful of piano melodies that weave in synchronicity with extreme music. Mayhem versus serene, literal beauty versus darkness, joy, and sorrow. The range of instruments used to create a pallet of divergent thoughts and passion is underrated and is purely for the completion of the creative power and subtlety that Bellum II possesses. ‘’ The Pillared Dark’’ is more creative epic genius and ‘’Sombre Loom’’ is comparatively brief in comparison, a classically inspired marvel that is also incredibly delicate whilst being a crescendo-building amalgamation of emotion.

Evocative, passionate and all-encompassing.  Bellum II is a solo vision now rendered complete over two incredible pieces of work that will and stand above all of its peers. It is a celebration of music and pure talent that is undeniable and a tour de force of talent and emotion.


 




FOLTERKAMMER – Weibermacht                           8.5/10


Expect to have your preconceived notions broken by Folterkammer. They are an Operatic black metal band that has delivered an exciting following up to their debut album 2020’s Die Lederpredigt. Weibrecht is an exhilarating further exploration of extreme metal and melody from the New York Quintet.

Overtly expressive Weibermacht takes the idea of classical, symphonic, and black metal to the precipice. Andromeda Anarchia’s vocals are a wonder. Able to hit the wonderful high notes and the drama of classical with its characters and nuances with what could possibly be an eight-octave range. Yet she is able to dive into the depths of deathened black metal with a cold fury and roar that is provided in equal measure and is of vital importance. It is such a commanding performance and mastery of her voice, from the elegant to the ugly it is literal tour de force.

Musically Folterkammer (Torture Chamber) are able to back this up with a sense of urgency and potent extreme music that is restless and full of energy The excellent recording allows both the classical and symphonic to shine in equal measure with the black and death metal touches, and this is undoubtedly an extreme metal record. “Die Unterwerfung” and “Algolagnia’’ are excellent whilst the riff work in “Herrin der Schwerter,” is as memorable as that vocal performance. Sometimes the extreme suffers for the nuances of the symphonic but not in Weibermacht, the grandeur is met with the wickedness and perverse in equal measure that is openly provocative and steeped in mythology in a style they refer to as torture chamber music.

Weibermacht (female power) and is classical compositions are well suited to the Germanic tongue that is delivered with such power and authority. It is an album that will leave you reeling with its passion and a sense of vileness and darkness that is inherit within the album complete with “Venus In Furs” from the Velvet Underground as a unique finisher. Breathtaking and containing a vocal performance that needs to be heard to be believed, Folterkammer defy all expectations.

 




Seth – La France des Maudits                   8/10


From their debut in 1998, the much-heralded ‘’Les Blessures de L’Ame’, Frances Seth has become a cornerstone of Avant Garde black metal art. Their seventh full-length masterwork is ‘’La France des Maudits’’, an album that celebrates their formidable reputation whilst continuing their purity to the cause.

invoking the very spirit of defiance, aggression, and rebellion, ‘’ Paris des maléfices’’ begins with the grandiosity that is inherent in Seth along with the raw anger of Saint Vincents vocals, it is an album steeped rich in French history and delivered in their native tongue that creates its own dark atmosphere. The riffing and keys are natural accompaniments creating a hellish crescendo that is part grandiose celebration part call to arms.  The guitar work elevates ‘’La destruction des reliques’’ to another level part melodious part dissonant nightmare the speed vital in delivering the visceral energy of the record. “Dans le Coeur un Poignard” is another highlight that reeks in atmosphere its slow build inexorable, inevitable, its hostile march impossible to escape, an all-conquering majestic crescendo that pushes atmospheric black metal into another realm. ‘’Insurrection’ with its pure tremolo madness and speed reflects their inherited aggression and raw power.

‘’La France des Maudits’’ is eloquent and sophisticated in its raw aggression, its narrative precise, epic, and coherent. It is a black metal record that encapsulates art, hatred and rebellion with both subtlety, texture, and raw fury. Uncompromising Seth celebrates both grand and obscene, the modern and steeped in history. An unyielding, defiant commemoration of majesty and revolt!


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