There is a horde of acts within black metal’s substrata each vying to add their own twist on the genre as this Finnish act has adopted an authentic black metal foundation but has cemented various other genres to it such as doom, death and some plain old heavy metal riffing with excellent results. I must admit the opening song ‘Birth’ did nothing for me with its doleful tones but it does boast a plethora of vocal intricacies, shedding theatre onto the album. Whether the opener serves as an intro is open to interpretation as ‘Goat Of Mendes’ shifts the focus from melancholy to a more upbeat tempo yet still with brooding riffs and grimacing croaked vocals which suit the song excellently.
‘The Word Became Flesh’ has a cool riff, similar to Cardinals Folly’s early material possessing a slight crust feel before the track quickly morphs into an obsidian beast yet retaining that twisted riff that is extremely catchy as a double kick blast ensues. As I stated this band incorporates many ideas as the track descends into a dour atmosphere that serves to section the song into thirds whereby the following double bass inundation is penetrating and potent. That heavy metal posture appears on ‘Hermetica’ with a relatively buoyant pace that has an avant-garde texture especially when a fine guitar hook is stitched into the song terrifically.
This album is splashed with varying moods as ‘Mantra’ returns the release to a mournful stance that has a doom quality before switching to a new riff that again has a penchant for ingraining into your head. The lower croak vocal is excellent, matching the temperament of the song as an attention to detail is evident and well thought out, allowing the dynamics of the songs to be effulgent as on ‘Anima Eterna’ where the song kicks off rapidly retaining a strait laced blackened approach. The flamboyance of this album is held within the varying song structures and whilst a song like ‘Anima Eterna’ barely shifts from its upbeat posture when taken into context with the whole album it fits neatly into the overall ethos. ‘Tree On The Planet Grave’ I swear had me thinking about old 70s rock momentarily due to its guitar hook as sporadic speed insertions are injected increasing momentum and again creating variations in mood especially when the song dives into a slower deathly phase of solemn riffing accompanied by sweeping drum fills. ‘Spectral Moonchild’ ends this eclectic album as a ghoulish vocal is heard amid the gloomy atmosphere of the riffing and tempo. There is a distant clang in the background that adds theatre especially when the song steadily increases in tension ready for an abrupt switch in speed, that has a more true black metal approach and perfectly climaxing the album with a fine lead break leaving the listener wanting to play it again immediately.
Albums like ‘Undead Revelations’ take time to digest but once it has the result is wholly satisfying as the band has crafted a beguiling and enthralling avant-garde black metal release that connoisseurs of the eclectic should investigate.
(9/10 Martin Harris)