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Glorior Belli’s previous effort, Meet us at the Southern Sign, got quite some mixed feedback. Some praised the album because of its innovating sound in the ever repeating black metal scene. Others disliked it because of its rock and even blues elements. Traditional elitists swear by the Parisian band’s Watain worshipping debut Ô Laudate Dominvs.
The Rites of Spiritual Death contains two lengthy tracks of both Glorior Belli and New Zealand’s heaviest Creeping. Fierce Rays of Wrathful Light shows a different face of Glorior Belli. The song goes on where Meet us at the Southern Sign ended, but a lot more doom and slow paced parts are put into the overall atmosphere. The biggest difference and also the biggest negative remark concerns the vocals. Julien’s typical low pitched screams are changed into a dull sounding death metal grunt – Something he never did before. However, the surprisingly positive remark comes from the other side of the world. Creeping is not known that much, but Shrine of the Fallen Sun shows us a great lesson in doom laden sludge. Down tuned guitars, rather slow paced and a deep grunt. This track is far from original music, but it sounds what to expect in this genre. With a really heavy sound Creeping could definitely blow each one of us away. Now they just blow away the other side of the split LP.
All by all the small Cypriot Necroterror Records (they also released vinyl of Code, Septic Flesh, Aosoth and some others) again released a special album holding two great acts and packed inside superb cover artwork. Perhaps my expectations were too high, especially for Glorior Belli, but The Rites of Spiritual Death doesn’t score much better than the average.