Bound By Entrails
The Oath To Forbear And The Burden Of Inheritance
posted on 12/2009 By:
Examining a map of the United States will reveal that the majority of well-known American black metal is a little weak on seeking out extreme climates and landscapes. The it-bands from the Pacific Northwest are barely at the latitudinal equivalent of northern France. Pussies. Bound By Entrails have it right, sending their sounds all the way from Anchorage, Alaska. As a result, The Oath To Forbear and the Burden of Inheritance sounds like it was dropped from the frozen Scandinavian mold. Exactly like the Scandinavian mold, essentially a mix of Dissection and In The Nightside Eclipse-era Emperor. While nothing herein is particularly faulty, most of it does little to distinguish itself from its source material.
But luckily for the band (and for us), one song catches hold, and it does so with a rigor mortis grip. At one second shy of nine minutes, “Seafarer’s Journey” is also the longest of the album, making up a quarter of the album’s original material. Throughout, the band expertly cycles through melodic tremolo picking patterns, softer piano sections, and far more intense and aggressive work. It reaches two peaks with the repetition of a breathtaking folk-tinged melody (reminiscent of early Drudkh’s lead guitar passages) that imbeds itself into the listener’s memory.
However, it seems as if Bound By Entrails focused so hard on one song that they let the rest of the tracks fall (slightly) behind, as if they were written to just hold the featured epic in place. Taken on their own, the other four original full songs (not including bonuses or intro/interlude) are all quality examples of melodic, slightly symphonic black metal, echo-drenched and full of tremolo speed. They just don’t burn a spot in a memory already dominated by Scandinavia’s best.
Also included are a cover of the Emperor classic “Inno A Satana” and a live track. Both are welcome additions (particularly the cover), but neither boosts the small hope that Bound By Entrails can write a full album as captivating as “Seafarer’s Journey.” Still, The Oath... achieves a nice hero-worshipping quality for most of its duration, and is worth investigating if you just can’t get enough of this style.
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