While death metal’s position has been fortified in 2017 due to the massive amount of exceptional releases that the genre produced so far, many seem to have ignored how strong it’s been for black metal as well. Take for instance the latest efforts of The Ruins of Beverast, Corpus Christii, Nightbringer, Ars Magna Umbrae or Dødsengel and it’s easy to consider it a very good year for the horned one.
Gone are the days that Limbonic Art used to spew awe at us from below, even if the band’s first three records pushed boundaries and created a triumvirate of unequalled creativity while bordering the avantgarde like none other. Lately the band has fallen into oblivion mostly due a few below-average albums that confused or rather disappointed the fans, but every Limbonic Art’s new releaseis a good excuse to take a couple of hours to listen to and see where the band’s headed these days. Let’s start off by separating the apples from the oranges: “Spectre Abysm” isn’t “In Abhorrence Dementia”, far from it.
This time, the Norwegians took a more primal approach and set aside most of the glorious and intricate symphonic and the “everything goes” passages (trip-hop, drum ’n’ bass and all electronica you can think of) that would easily put to shame bands like Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir in the late 90’s. In fact, this can be considered the band’s most uncompromising work so far, which isn’t bad if we consider that their two previous records fired blanks from start to finish. “Spectre Abysm” leaves no doubts about the band’s intentions with “Demonic Resurrection”, the fierce and quite violent opener in the line of classic Dark Throne, Immortal, and Enslaved, even if its initial symphonic moments that resemble an intro would suggest otherwise.
Then comes the more epic “Ethereal Traveler”, followed by “Omega Doom”, unquestionably the album’s best track and riff. Both “Requiem Sempiternam” and “Disciplina Arcani” send us back to Limbonic Art’s heyday, even if momentarily and moderately, which nevertheless is entertaining and interesting. The album comes to an end with “Through the Vast Profundity Obscure”, a mix of epic meets trve black metal that might please or disappoint, but that will leave no one indifferent.
Albeit not a classic-strong record, it’s fair to say that Limbonic Art decided to take things more seriously than with the past couple of records, and it’s easy to see that Daemon still has a lot to show and plenty of new and older fans to impress. For the conoisseurs, the production of the record is flawless but contemporary, even if some arrangements (mostly synth-wise) could have turned out to be magnificent and instead are just very good. Although it takes more than this to contend for album of the year in the genre, it’s certainly a good surprise and a very welcomed return.
About Limbonic Art: