"Embers and Revelations"

By Dr. Abner Mality

This record is quite a subtle grower. It's the Relapse debut for the much hyped band headed up by Bangladeshi expatriot Vetis Monarch and now headquartered in Canada. Upon first listen, I was mildly enthusiastic but thought the band's reputation overblown. But fortunately I do not rely solely on first listens. Further spins ( a term which I sadly use only metaphorically in this case) revealed an extremely talented band capable of touching upon many metal archetypes.

"Embers and Revelations" is not a blow-your-head off blastbeat infested death or black metal band...although you wouldn't be wrong in categorizing it either way. The sound is pretty clean, the guitar solos and melodies are crisp and thoughtful and it sounds like Mr. Monarch was raised upon classical metal like Maiden, Sabbath and Priest. It's a more cerebral kind of death/black metal than raw and primitive hatred. But believe me, the speed and aggression are can hear it in spades during "Vanguard of the Morning Star" and "Liber Lilith". There's also a kind of mystical feeling to the music and the winds of the East blow through these tunes. "Shahenshah" and "Disavowing Each In Aum" have quite a bit of gauzy, droning distortion to them, somewhat similar to standard European black metal yet different. One thing that hits you right off the bat is the highly skilled guitar work of Monarch and Rom Surtr...these guys can really shred and they aren't afraid to mess around with different tones and harmonies.

I still think Weapon is a bit short of the god-like adulation I've heard heaped upon them by others, but after listening to "Embers and Revelations", I have no hesitation in recommending it to those dark disciples looking for a classier kind of mayhem. It will be interesting to see where they go from here.