ALGHAZANTH - Eight Coffin Nails
Symphonic Black Metal, to me there was always two types. The first featured classic icy sounds with the instruments (and yeah those keyboards) plus the vocals combined to produce a fierce yet melodic melody. Then there was the latter more commercially stuff which combined CRADLE OF FILTH and latter day DARK FUNERAL and DIMMU BORGIR. Plenty of US acts copied that formula because it was trendy along with having a female keyboard player with a dress exposing her cleaves. That was crap back around 8 or 9 years ago.
Thankfully ALGHAZANTH are of the former. The first time I listened to this I was carried away in an almost hypothermia haze. Basically I was in a frozen trance as the icy sounds of beautiful black metal just floored me. A label friend of mine told me the other day that he hates people who use the term "epic". Sorry Jeremy but this release epic and more. Secondly where have I been since this band has been around forever.
ALGHAZANTH hail from the great nation of Finland, a country whose black metal reputation is legendary. Although not in the category of symphonic BM. No their nation's vanguard of corpse paint are brutally filthy and necro. ALGHAZANTH are of a slice from a different section, abrasive YES, melodic OF COURSE, compelling songs OH HELL YES. And I've just heard them this week. Fuck Me because this band has been around since 1995, you know the time that some of you were conceived. Over that time the band has released seven full lengths and a couple of EPs. Prolific? Yeah I'd say. Unsung heroes of Finnish black metal? Definitely.
Sadly, according to the promo info (and the album title) this is their last album. Be that as it may this is an incredible opus. The guitar melodies make you feel as if you've entered a majestic ice palace of wonders and sorrow. On other cuts it's like get hit in the face by sleet. Either way there's plenty of tremolo picked riffs that freeze you in place or better yet in awe. There's also some background rhythm guitar pushing the doom aesthetics.
Since this is symphonic BM the case of keyboards and their usage must be addressed. On here when they are evident they are layered in the background as if a carpet for the other instruments to set upon. Vocal wise it's a mix of traditional harsh filth but at other times reminds me of Finnish doom singing. Just to close this it's like I feel privileged to hear such greatness. Actually I should say brilliance since the music just carries you away to frozen kingdoms that only your imagination helped with the music can come up with. I don't want to leave. I wanna hear this for the rest of my life.