Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lord Belial: Revelation-The 7th Seal

Melodic black metal is a little bit of an overlooked genre and not terribly well-respected among the metal community. Perhaps this is because of the lack of very many elite bands in the genre, minus Dissection of course, depending on the viewpoint of the person listening to them. Lord Belial has varied their sound over the years but is probably most often fit under the melodic black umbrella. They have gone from a more straightforward black metal band on their early releases to the more melodic approach, even adding some death metal influence to their sound at times. For the most part though, Lord Belial suffers from the major problem of their genre, they are ultimately forgettable.

This is a decent album, but it just does not stand out enough to require repeated listenings. Other bands such as Naglfar have much the same sound and also have some hooks to grab the listener. Lord Belial just does not have that ability. Many of the songs on the album begin to run together and sound very similar, in fact most of the songs on the album are structured the same way. There are a few exceptions but for the most part the songs are Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus and then either repeating the chorus or ending with a last verse. The songs that differ such as "Death as Solution", "Vile Intervention", "Gateway to Oblivion", and "Black Wings of Death" are the most memorable on the album.

For the most part, the instrumentation is decent. The drumming often consists of blast beats but is otherwise high enough in the mix and entertaining enough that it keeps the listener's attention while listening to the album. The guitars often engage in tremolo picking early in the song and during the choruses. The choruses often continue with the same rhythm and riff from the rest of the song except for adding an additional guitar line or heavier drums, or just being louder. The production on the entire album is crystal clear, which is definitely a plus. The music as a whole contains an eerie atmosphere.

The vocals are for the most part the same raspy roar. Thomas Backelin's limitations are very clear as there are frequently guest vocals which provide the only differences from Backelin's raspy delivery. The guest vocals are usually more interesting than the band's own singer which is a bit of a problem. In fact, most of them truly interesting aspects of the album come from individuals who are not in the band, although Hjalmar Nielsen who provided most of the guitar leads was previously in the band.

All in all, the album is decent, but it fails to truly grab the attention of the listener beyond it's runtime.

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