Most people like their drive to work to be complemented by the radio or probably some album of an easy listening calibre. As one slogs into their daily job pre-coffee and possibly devoid of breakfast there is probably nothing they want less than some angry, aggressive music. Yet for me and I’m sure many others Extreme Metal is my coffee and my breakfast, why it’s even my lunch, dinner and everything in between as well. For you see when one is invested in a scene of sorts whether it be Metal, Punk, Rave or whatever else it becomes you, you live through that music with undying passion.
Serving up the first meal of the day come the Polish Blackened Death Metallers Doombringer, formed as a side project of members from the kvlt bands Bestial Raids and Cultes Des Ghoules. Doombringer who are now signed to Nuclear War Now! Productions aim to continue their reign of terror with the 2019 full length and sophomore album Walpurgis Fires. Following up from the 2014 debut The Grand Sabbath we come to expect more Death Metal heavy Black Metal that crosses the boundaries of the two genres into uncharted War Metalesque waters.
As the brief ambient intro of Into The Woodlands fades a barrage of Blackened Death Metal is left in its wake. Pummelling drums trundle through thick, muddy guitars and bass like a rumbling thunderstorm. The in come the vocals, full with the fire of Extreme Metals earlier influences in the vein of Celtic Frost and early Bathory, dashed equally with notes of the crustier era of Darkthrone and even at points Mayhem. Yet strangely these vocals don’t come off as strictly Black Metal, rather they are a unique, inspiring blend that really does the genre of Blackened Death Metal justice. Sworn To Malice sees the injection of a slight Doom influence in its guitars but it doesn’t last long and we are thrust back into the onslaught.
It could seem on the face of it that this album could be a bit of a drag. After all most songs are over the five minute mark and for a savage verging on War Metal release that could be seen as excessive. However somehow Doombringer pull it off breathing new life in old ideals and creating something that is elevated above the maniacal thrashings of their Blackened Death Metal contemporaries. Briceia Chants The Spell is another epic track with an almost ritualistic quality about it, conjuring up images of necromancy and witchcraft. As the album closes with Walpurgis we are left shell shocked and eagerly awaiting more.
To summarise I can only offer high praise for Walpurgis Fires, this is trve Metal in every sense yet at the same time it is very accessible. In essence I think that is what separates it from the War Metal tag, rather than having shoddy production and wall noise smatterings Doombringer offer up great musicianship which is backed by expert production that still feels gritty and underground. Essentially if you’re a fan of Black or Death Metal then this will surely be a winner for you, with enough riffs to keep you happy and with a variety of twists and turns Doombringer succeed in their second tome.
(8/10 George Caley)