Elderblood - Achrony review
|Release date:||July 2021|
02. The Great Fire Of Sacrifice
03. Fallen Seraphs
04. Holy Plague
05. Life Eternal
06. Virgin Land Plowed Over By Death
08. The One Who Has Not Yet Come
09. Sainthood's Stench
10. The New Testament
Despair breeds doom metal. Desperation breeds black metal. Desperation from romantic minds in the Ukraine is bringing us some of the best symphonic black metal of 2021. Elderblood's third offering Achrony is a whirlwind of symphonic black metal. It is the ingenuity of Enslaved combined with the intensity of Dark Funeral and the grandeur of Dimmu Borgir. "What about their lyrical theme?" - you may ask - well, to quote the band: "Religious obscurantism, ideologies, and sects of different times can be found on these dark pages; the Achrony album is about the quintessence of degeneration that is presented at any time of human history". Sold? Yeah, me too. Time to invert a few crosses while digging deep down into the compelling psyche of human depravity.
The first spin as well as its repeated subsequent, unstoppable, juggernaut-like replays engineer this feeling that Achrony is a remarkable record. The songwriting is mighty ambitious, and yet the execution is insanely near flawless. As for the atmosphere, the disturbing cover art fits the music like a glove, in every shade of gray between black and white. The production is full and space-y, in that it leaves space for all instruments to shine.
The mood-setting church bells, crow sounds and tribal rhythms of "Sparks", the haunting intro of the intense "The Great Fire Of Sacrifice", the tasty bass lines on "Fallen Seraphs", the complex and reflective break on "Holy Plague", the Mgła-esque guitar work on "Life Eternal", the perfect Necrophobic influences on "Virgin Land Plowed Over By Death", the Borknagar-inspired "Soot" with its killer guitar solo, the Schammasch sounding ode to "The One Who Has Not Yet Come", the Old Man's Child-like cymbal-mastery on "Sainthood's Stench" or the slow, crushing doom and pensive nature of "The New Testament", literally every single wicked song is noteworthy while feeling like a piece of the whole. For the musical flow of Achrony is relentless without being overwhelming. Surely the clear sign of a well-thought through album, and the unholy mark of a sophisticated bunch of musicians.
Elderblood impresse in a style that has gone underrepresented lately. While the symphonic BM genre probably peaked a few years ago, an album like this one suddenly makes it fresh and relevant again. The difficulty seems to revolve around avoiding too much repetition, even for the talismanic bands in this field. Somehow, the material here fits the standards of some of the genre reference albums while managing to sound innovative. Obviously this is on the whole so well put together that Achrony should end up as one of the defining albums of 2021. However, I would settle if it gets noticed enough to be shortlisted as one of the best discoveries of the year.
"There are three silhouettes in the dark..."
Written on 25.07.2021 by
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