From the Devil's Tomb
posted on 12/2010 By:
This year certainly has not lacked in ugliness, but there’s been a fundamental absence of forward movement among the black and death metal crowd in many cases. The relatively short period of time between the debut and subsequent follow-up from Alberta, Canada’s Weapon could have been a worrying sign of a rushed new labor, but much like what Krallice achieved last year with Dimensional Bleedthrough, From The Devil’s Tomb is a prime example of a band laying the heavy hammer down to those hot irons in a big way with a brawnier, even more aggressive sophomore effort that expands upon the groundwork laid out on the debut with occasionally jaw-dropping results.
What separates this release from its predecessor is how Weapon has integrated a quirkiness to their sound that is undeniably catchy but also dead serious to boot. Although energetic, the abundant riffs on this album are both technical yet very easy to grab a hold of through smart repetition and virtually ceaseless rage. The lead-off title track is highly representative of the remarkably quick growth spurt the band has gone through, arranging the pounding uptempo sections to coincide with slower, equally strong moments that almost sound mosh-worthy (terrible term, I know) and most conducive to snapping necks. Even though things are a bit more in-your-face overall this time around, the same strangely mystical qualities Drakonian Paradigm exuded are also present here, but deepened in groove and leaning heavily toward a warlike muse as displayed on “Vested In Surplice And Violet Stole” and the flat-out nasty “Furor Divinus”.
Closely approaching the fifty-five minute mark spread out over nine tracks, the flow of this disc really couldn’t have been planned better, most notably by placing the brief and peculiarly titled “Lefthandpathyoga” directly in the middle to help the listener catch their breath to something that isn’t just random filler. There’s almost an elegance to their power, like a deceptive martial art or a sophisticated method of dismemberment. Weapon manages to add class to a very foul and raw base of operations, highlighted by the asymmetrical charge of “The Inner Wolf“ and the savage grace of following standout track “Sardonyr”, which is simply one of the most intelligent and bruising songs from any band this year. Both of those songs show Weapon to be a formidable force when it comes to variation, melodic daring, and thunderous syncopation, excelling to the point where the brooding “Trishul” feels rather subdued and restrained in comparison.
Curiously, as fresh and implacable as From The Devil’s Tomb sounds, it’s also not completely new or innovative by any stretch, as clearly most of the material here could very well appeal to fans of bands such as Absu and Morbid Angel. This wispy familiarity isn’t a hindrance, and as shown on the majestically grandiose closer “Towards The Uncreated”, there is a classic eloquence that surrounds even the most malevolent sections. Immaculately produced, and impeccably performed as if by refined demons with filthy wings, this act has shaped a creation of mass destruction indeed. A suave construct of arcane and elaborate force, this is an album that I highly doubt will die quietly. Obscene, and beautiful.
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