Glorior Belli - Meet Us At The Southern Sign review
|Album:||Meet Us At The Southern Sign|
|Release date:||June 2009|
01. Once In A Blood Red Moon
02. The Forbidden Words
03. Swamp That Shame
04. There Is But One Light
05. My True Essence
06. In Every Grief-Stricken Blues
07. Nox Illuminatio Mea
08. The Blazing Darkness (Of Luciferian Skies)
09. Fivefold Thought
10. Fires Of The Sitra Ahra
11. Meet Us At The Southern Sign
In case you've been living under a rock for the past decade, or just aren't much of a fan of the genre, the mid-to-latter half of the 2000s has seen a wave of French black metal bands (Blut Aus Nord, Deathspell Omega, Diapsiquir, to name a few) that seem to be hell-bent on throwing every chapter of black metal's "trve kvlt" rulebook out the window in favor of more drastically innovative experimentation. In many such cases, these bands have begun with a more orthodox black metal sound that gradually shifted to more out-of-the-box leanings the further they progressed with their discography, and Glorior Belli are no exception. The band displayed all the harsh, raw qualities typical of black metal on their debut, 2005's Ô Laudate Dominvs, and the follow-up, 2007's Manifesting The Raging Beast. However, it was their third album, 2009's Meet Us At The Southern Sign that saw the band delving into territory that was far more... bluesy? Yes, you read it right. Bluesy. Meet Us At The Southern Sign saw the band's first infusion of their beloved black metal genre with more bluesy/southern rock influences. And although this combination may sound completely bizarre in theory... well, in all honesty, Glorior Belli do a damn fine job at it.
What makes Meet Us At The Southern Sign (and indeed, the follow-up, 2011's The Great Southern Darkness) so uniquely interesting is that, upon an focused listen, the music Glorior Belli manage to create truly makes one realize how splendidly black metal and blues really can fit together, almost as well as peanut butter and jelly. After all, blues originated as a music of lamentation, a music of people in sorrow of their current condition, and creating somewhat depressing music to express that with. When combined with the haunting, melancholic nature of black metal, this union seems almost natural. While a few more straightforward black metal tracks rear their heads on the album (such as "The Forbidden Words"), for the most part, on Meet Us At The Southern Sign[i] Glorior Belli seem to be more focused upon testing the limits of this newfound sound, both with actual lyrical tracks ("Once In A Blood Red Moon," "There Is But One Light," or my personal favorite "In Every Grief Stricken Blues") and a few instrumentals ("Swamp That Shame," "Fires Of The Sitra Ahra").
But the true testament to the talent and potential of Glorior Belli, especially on [i]Meet Us At The Southern Sign is the almost perfect blend of their black metal with the bluesy, "southern" influences. At no time does the band appear to lean too far in either direction, particularly in the fact that although their music has begun to see experimentation with blues, their guitar tone still maintains its gritty, razor-shape black metal edge. This I find to be one of the biggest attractions to the music of Glorior, for it honestly at points feels as if whether you're a black metal fan or a blues fan, there's something in it for you to enjoy either way. Indeed, the balance the band manages to pull off really is that good, and it certainly makes their overall formula more intriguing than is average, especially considering the typically orthodox nature of the genre from which they come.
If you're a fan of experimental black metal, or even experimental metal in general, I would highly recommend giving Glorior Belli a listen. And if you've already heard Meet Us At The Southern Sign, then check out The Great Southern Darkness (if you haven't already), which only sees the band continuing with their recent black metal/blues innovation.
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