Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 5/15/2006
posted on 9/2006 By:
When it comes to black metal, I prefer to listen to the cold, dry, but slightly atmospheric variety. I think Candlelight has pretty much covered all the bases as far as giving us many different varieties of extreme metal to choose from this year, and in the wake of such heavyweights as Gorgoroth, Ihsahn, Vader, and Necrophobic among others, it looks like a few releases are in danger of being unfairly overlooked. I’ve made it a point not to overlook Sweden’s caustic Setherial, for despite their relative low profile, they’ve released one blisteringly solid black metal gem with their 5th album, Death Triumphant, and people should be made aware of it.
Personally, I think Death Triumphant is a fantastic little disc, and even with my critic hat firmly in place, there really isn’t a whole lot of negative things I can say about this album at all. While not abundantly fast, there are plentiful raging blast sections to keep things at a sub-zero level of icy hatred, but Setherial rely more on thoughtful rhythmic arrangements and vibrant, no-frills metal riffs for effect rather than overpowering with pointlessly blinding speed, and white-noise tremolo. Speaking of which, the production is quite nice, the guitars bite hard, the bass is actually fucking audible, and the drums sound clean but still sound like drums and not someone beating upside-down buckets with pieces of poultry.
What I found very enjoyable about Death Triumphant is Setherial’s tenacious songwriting in particular. There has been great care given to these compositions, from touches of Germanic thrash on “Inhale The Embers”, to the brief, cold industrial flair found momentarily in “Hellstorms Over The Empyrean”, and penetratingly sharp riffs of “Devilry Wickedness and Scorn”, there isn’t much wasted time spent here by the band. Their precision is faultless, carried along by confident and throaty growl/scream of vocalist Infaustus, who also throws in some cool Emperor/Dragonlord-type OOhhhwWAAAH!!! shrieks for good measure and added color throughout the disc.
If there is a fault to be found, it’s with the lack of a standout track or a moment of unexpected songcraft to give things a twist. Nope, this is just straight-on, always intense, always moving, no bullshit black metal that gives away all its secrets by the second listen. I fail to see any major problem with that method when it's executed properly, and Death Triumphant is one of those rock-solid albums that retains its strength over multiple listens. I must have listened to this 20 times over the past couple months, and it just keeps gaining strength. More than just a ‘grower’, but also nothing more than a bitterly cold display in brute power, Setherial absolutely satisfies the craving for some something raw and bloody. Grab it if ya’ see it, just look for the coolest cover on the rack.
Register to post comments.