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Weapon is one of those entities that not only decide to carry the beacon of proud Canadian tradition of blackened death metal, but adorn and embellish it with nuances and details of their own, to both create a nostalgic memorabilia to commemorate the genre's forefathers (despite Blasphemy still being "active"), and refurbish it to their own liking. Or at least they used to be, because their previous elements of Middle Eastern and Indian-inspired riffing and songwrting, as well as exotic instrumentation (sitar,in particular) seem to be lost on this release, with only thing remaining being the powerful and passionate product of said genre, albeit a more conventional, by-the-numbers one.
Weapon have steered a lot on this release, with songs being of less epic lengthh and composition, with fewer mood and atmosphere transitions, and more prone to following the dreaded verse-chorus-verse structure ("Vanguards of the morning star", for instance). Needless to say, melodies are still catchy, as they haven't lost all their prowess and aptitude, just strayed from the more exotic take on the genre. And while at times, they do field minimum experimentation and flirting with outside influences ("Liber Lilith" with it's gang.like choral shouting), the spectacular songwriting only reveals itself in glimpses and brief moments of vision and creativity. Aside from that we are left with a feel of expectation and hope, but and consecutively with the underwhelming and sour feel of their return to more rote collage of various components of said medium.
That said, "Embers and revelations" is far from a bad release, as it deserves more then a single spin to fully immerse into,but after you have caught all the subtleties and facets, you feel as they have rushed to release an unfinished and more commercial sounding admixture of death and black metal, with several spins and shifts in structure redolent of 80s heavy and thrash notables. Since competent and devoted black/death is hard to come by, with most extreme metal musicians opting for one out of two, this may sate the grating feel of scarceness, but is far from moving any boundaries and breaching any frontiers. 7/10
To listen to the three full length albums Weapon have released since 2009 is to witness a band searching for their sound. This is not meant as a knock on the Canadian quartet, in fact quite to the contrary; bands are supposed to evolve and grow from album to album. This fact is often lost in the context of death and black metal, where more often than not a lazy “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude prevails. Weapon spit blood and fire in the face of that attitude; they’re ambitious, dedicated craftsmen with world domination on their minds. Embers and Revelations, the latest in that aforementioned trio of albums, is the band’s most complete and commanding work to date, a work that sees Weapon finding that sweet spot between death metal’s pulverizing violence and black metal’s Luciferian spitefulness; harnessing it to create something totally their own.
What first strikes you about Embers and Revelations is the production scheme; it’s pristine in all the right ways. Music this expertly composed and played should be heard, not buried under a metric fuck-ton of sonic murk; leave that to the so-called “bestial” bands who need it to cover up the fact that they can’t play their instruments, let alone write a song that anyone would actually want to listen to if you scraped away the filth. Yes, the crystal clear recording quality works to Weapon’s advantage on Embers and Revelations, allowing their superior skills to shine through, crushing multitudes of lesser bands under the weight of riff after riff designed to annihilate with extreme prejudice.
The guitar work of Vetis Monarch and Rom Surtr is the undeniable highlight of album, in fact it’s the most destructive display of six-string sorcery Weapon have yet put to tape, which is really saying something when one considers how utterly demolishing the riffage on 2010′s From the Devil’s Tomb was. There is also a wealth of killer lead guitar to be savored here; just when I was starting to wonder if metal bands still knew how to write leads that actually served the song instead of devolving into mindless “look at me!” attention whoring, along comes Weapon with some of the most tasteful, fluid playing I’ve heard in ages. Of course the rhythm section are far from slouches; astute listeners will recognize drummer The Disciple as none other than Paulus Kressman of Sacramentary Abolishment and Rites of Thy Degringolade fame. Kressman can go apeshit on the kit with the best of them, but he reins things in here, delivering an unflashy yet thoughtful performance that provides Embers and Revelations with a rock-solid foundation.
Weapon is among the rarest of metal bands; hardworking, constantly learning and adapting in order to better themselves and sharpen their attack. Embers and Revelations finds them at the peak of their powers, at the same time leaving the door wide open for even further progression towards total supremacy. Can it be much longer before Weapon ascends to the top of the death/black metal heap as one of the genre’s apex predators, leaving a trail of smashed skulls, mangled carcasses and torched icons in their wake?
Originally written for That's How Kids Die.com
This here band caused a bit of a stir after some sort of a legal issue regarding the Weapon moniker sprouted up between these Canucks and a legendary NWOBMH group with the same name, plus another Canadian group named Weapon—they like knifes and guns in Canada, apparently. In the end, the UK Weapon changed their name to Weapon UK, and this Weapon stayed Weapon, while the second Canadian Weapon became Weapon NL. Confused yet? Now, I'm not picking sides or implying one is right and the other wrong, but in fairness I think all Weapons should have added abbreviations for clarity, because if one has to do it, then why not all? So I've decided to continue the obvious separation one or more parties obviously wanted by calling this Weapon CAN Weapon to further divide them from the other Weapon(s); all can send me their gratitude anytime. CAN Weapon should technically be called Weapon CAN, but CAN Weapon sounds much more enthralling. I mean, can you actually picture someone using a can as a weapon? That's just silly.
That leaves us with "Embers and Revelations," the third CAN Weapon album spawned from the recently opened Beefaroni container resting somewhere between Satan's bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and his collection of questionably wadded-up tissues. CAN Weapon struts along a fine fiber of blasphemous blackened death metal akin to God Dethroned or Belphegor that cuts and slices like a razor-sharp katana with intensity that cracks the heavens in two. What they do here isn't necessarily captivating, yet "Embers and Revelations" strikes with sternum-cracking force; it sounds evil, energized, malevolent and diabolical. There's little to complain about overall, because these dudes kick Chef Boyardee’s ass. The extreme metal influences are poignantly clear through the riffing styles layered between melodies and sections often conjuring mental flares of Mayhem or Morbid Angel with some obvious cameos from one or more of the band's musical shareholders. This kind of thing is both impossible to screw up and insanely fragile: how simple is it to cram in riffs and patterns that reek of universally awesome bands, yet make everything appear more than a standard drone following the forefathers of extreme metal?
Well, they manage to surprisingly pull off both technicalities in their favor, and that's why "Embers and Revelations" reaps what it sows, or should I say, remains perfectly symmetrical for all your canning needs. For starters, CAN Weapon does a phenomenal job altering the tempo of the album instead of just randomly charging in a blast-laden vortex of monotony which unfortunately sums up most of their musical equivalents; "Embers and Revelations" has plenty of that as expected, but there's an abundance of creepy, atmospheric parts that bring Immolation et al. to mind, certainly nothing I‘m complaining about. That said, there's more than enough originality and clattering violence around the cult's altar. "The First Witnesses of Lucifer" bursts out in an explosive frenzy of monstrous riffs and blackened death metal destruction, an honest representation of most of the album, really. I find the last two numbers the finest simply because the slithering atmosphere of "Disavowing Each in Aum" is utterly sensational, and that ending theme "Shahenshah" isn't too shabby either.
Any comment comparing CAN Weapon's remaining albums would be rendered useless because I'm foreign to their other releases, but I'm certainly impressed by their vigor and hostility here, and it has enough beef to arouse further curiosity. In sum, "Embers and Revelations" performs like an extreme metal record should ideally perform; it's remarkably hot yet intelligent and beyond the standards of its usual outputs. The average listener will find "Embers and Revelations" compelling based on its intensity alone, and I definitely suggest looking into the world of CAN Weapon if you've got the nerve to descend into this terrorizing storm of occult containers turned into items that one uses to inflict bodily harm with.
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com
Blackened death metal outfit, Weapon, has released another album of pure hatred and, in my opinion, is their finest work to date! The songs contain better production, the music is much tighter, and the band is stronger than ever before. Like fine wine, this band continues to get better with age!
The drums pack much more of a punch and the guitar sound is just as meaty as past albums, yet it seems to pack more of a punch. The vocal work is superb in all aspects and the overall length of the album hovers around the 40-minute mark. The band even uses gang vocals in sections of two tracks (not my favorite part of either song, but different from past releases, nonetheless). Stand-out tracks on this album include the opening track, “The First Witnesses of Lucifer”, “Crepuscular Swamp, Unhinged Swine”, and the title track, “Embers and Revelations”. Notice the placement of each song within the context of the album. From start to finish, Weapon keeps the listener engaged until the very last track. Even after the conclusion of the record, one can only ask for more!
I am confident that Weapon will continue to grow musically. Embers and Revelations is another step forward for a band with such amazing potential. With great riffs, great production, amazing vocal work, and a captivating set of material, Weapon has proved once again that they are no slackers. Rather than coping their older material (many bands do fall into this trap, unfortunately), Weapon has continued to push boundaries on their art and their craft. Be on the lookout for shows in your area, in support of this amazing record, and be sure to stop by their Facebook page and Official webpage!
Originally written for Me Gusta Reviews. www.megustareviews.com
As an example of occult-influenced, blackened death metal there was very little bad that could be said about "From the Devil's Tomb", the second album from Canadian-by-way-of-Bangladeshi horde Weapon. And now with "Embers and Revelations" the band have not only released another supremely sterling effort but surely done enough to brand their name on the lips of any fan who claims allegiance to the true beating heart of extreme metal.
Slow burning opener "The First Witnesses of Lucifer" begins ominously but it is the tempo changes within that define the song's creativity - I challenge you to listen from the 2-minute mark without compulsive head-nodding. It also serves as an indicator of Weapon's style and technique for the album to come - distinguishable, well-written and meaty riffs fill the void, each competing for their moment of attention before another inevitably arises to kill what came before. It is death metal by nature but black metal by feel; my favourite track on offer, "Liber Lilith" starts akin to crusty Watain-ish black metal before furiously blasting into life. For the most part "Embers and Revelations" is played at breakneck speeds but, crucially for us production and performance pedants, always on the side of the natural and never a studio-derived trigger blast, oh no. That I'll take any day.
"Vanguard of the Morning Star" verges from its rhythmic palm-muted riffing before packing out the riffs in the second half, stuffed with flailing solos and the kind of drum pounding which defined the style of these genres in the more honest 80s. Instrumental "Grotesque Carven Portal" in the album's middle gives a chance to show off some soloing chops and to slow the pace, before bursting into the title track which like much else on the album combines the crusty guitar tones and battering drum performance into riffs and rhythms that destroy most pretenders. Recalling (modern) Behemoth it shows Weapon tempering their speed and aggression to inject great intent into the song, that small difference which makes this a 'great' band rather a 'good' one. Finally closer "Shahenshah" ups the groove to such a level that health warnings should be sounded before it's performance - opening with black metal chords and winding leads it eventually relaxes into a neat and atmospheric headbanger and altogether satisfactory feel come the conclusion of these 37 minutes.
Packaged in a superb cover "Embers and Revelations" is a consummately professional release from a band still languishing in the cavernous metal underground. Might I suggest though that you get in on the act soon, because on the strength of this LP and "From the Devil's Tomb" Weapon do not deserve to be simply making up the numbers in the underground for too much longer.
Originally written for www.Rockfreaks.net
Weapon, the blackened death metal band from Canada, released their third album in 2012 through Relapse Records. I was actually pretty elated when I saw the promo trailer on youtube for the first time. I figured that since their first two albums were so good that this one would not fail to deliver, either. Well, I was partially right. Now that I've listened to it a lot more, I still think it that it could have been better. Drakonian Paradigm was vile and sick sounding with a bit of a middle-eastern tinge to it (ex. Remnants of a Burnt Mosque). From the Devil's Tomb had an evil as hell atmosphere and songs like The Inner Wolf showcase superior songwriting and the atmosphere as well. This album is, well, alright. It doesn't really stand out in any specific way other than the songwriting, which, unsurprisingly, isn't bad at all.
The first thing that I noticed on this album was the fact that Weapon cleaned the fuck out of their production. I noticed that on the trailer promo as well, but I didn't really pay much attention to it and didn't think that it would hinder them in any way. Unfortunately, I was wrong. The last two albums were much more raw sounding and I think that the way they wrote their songs worked well with that production style. I remember hearing Vetis Monarch say that Weapon had 'found their sound' on this album on the studio reports they released. I disagree for sure, because this production style just doesn't really seem to do it for me at all. The instruments may be more clear and there may be a bit more bass presence, but the evil atmosphere and rawness was sacrificed for those two factors.
The music itself is pretty good. Weapon never had a problem with songwriting itself, because, in my opinion, it was always very good. The album certainly doesn't sound rushed or lazy or anything of the sort. The band says that they were influenced by Mortuary Drape, Mayhem and old school Samael (and I hear a bit of those bands). To me I hear an amalgamation of old school Slayer, old school Morbid Angel, Melechesh and Mayhem. A combination of those bands really can't fail unless you purposely fuck it up.
The worst thing about this album in all honestly is just the production. The songwriting is fine, the lyrics are fine, everything else is pretty much fine. I can't really complain about anything else. Overall this album is a good one and I don't think that it deserves anything below a 90%. Hopefully their next album will showcase more of that evil atmosphere and wretched songwriting.
To quote the great Philip Anselmo, it used to be that bands culled their influences from a whole host of different sources. These days, however, bands will consider just 1 or 2 of their favorite bands, and use that to set their creative wheels spinning, leading to derivation in music more often than not. Now, I don’t know who exactly this Canadian black/death metal band take direct influence from, but I can hear a whole host of similarities to a wide array of my favorite projects, such as Morbid Angel, Nile, Melechesh, Belphegor, Behemoth, and Absu, with more traditional emanations of black metal darkness circa Watain, and elements of straightforward, cutting violence that will whet the britches of the Goatwhore crowd. Though redolent of all of these at one time or another, Weapon are pleasingly distinct. This is very black, very occult metal with both chops and personality, displaying a serrated wickedness that keeps pace with anyone else in the blackened death sphere, whilst smoldering in its own unique brand of punishing evil.
The genre line is very blurred here, as the timber of the riffing is certainly rooted primarily in blackened aesthetics, but the innate brutality and cunning precision belie a core of palpable deathly aggression. What is most tangible here, though, is the level of care and malevolence that went into Embers and Revelations, the band’s 3rd album. Somehow they’ve escaped my notice up to this point, and likely would have continued to, had this not been sent over by the good folk at Relapse Records. They’re on my map now, though, and beyond that, have escalated easily to the ranks of the above-listed bands, and will likely appeal to fans of the occult emanations of Belphegor and Melechesh most of all. At a hair over 37 minutes, Embers and Revelations is not a particularly lengthy album, but it nevertheless thrives on differentiation, providing a variety of dastardly spells culled from the same necrotic tome, thus feeling consistently fresh without betraying the overarching motif of resplendent serpentine darkness.
The First Witnesses of Lucifer builds up the atmosphere, slowly raising the pulse into a mid-paced march, and finally into a celeritous hail of machine-gun fire, summoning an array of suitably evil riffs, and consistently firing off tenebrous, poignant leads into the gathering inferno. Vanguard of the Morning Star wastes little time leading the assault against the purulent angels of God, unleashing a panoramic blasting deicide that is as melodiously eloquent as it is vicious, and the band are indeed very melodic throughout, the riffing truly possessed of subtlety, flair, and unrestrained passion. Crepuscular Swamp, Unhinged Swine (love the title) crawls like some filthy, malevolent serpent through progressions of muddy chugging, rising up in melodic evolution before our very ears, crafting seismic riffing totems that rise up above the muck like demonic stairways. Liber Lilith opens with a stark crisp beauty before unleashing one of the blackest, most violent musical storms I’ve heard in a long time, an immensely satisfying and fibrous pummeling. Lyrics are quite hedonistic throughout, sometimes well written, other times endearingly campy, both of which my twisted psyche enjoys quite a lot.
‘Vile temptress, Goddess ov Drakon! Initiator of perversion in mankind!
Let the phalli of murderers glow within Thy orifice of defecation.
O, ravishing Queen of noxious blood! He who repudiates Thy pulsating cunt,
Shall yield to strangulation by the severed, umbilical cord of a fetus’
Grotesque Carven Portal is an interim piece dripping with majestic atmospherics, a short lead guitar ceremony flinging bloody mist to the skies, leading into the violent whirlwind that is the titular Embers and Revelations, which boasts some of the best riffing of the entire album as it careers through dry, windy stomping and gusts of lead guitar ecstasy. Disavowing Each in Aum is another muscular display of the band’s innate feel for contrasting dynamics, a perfect flow of near-cosmic elegance, a whole created thermosphere of thick, interweaving riffs and full-bodied, grandiloquent bass lines. The closing number Shahenshah is another webwork of atmospheric layering, absolutely dark, absolutely majestic, stirring the heart with its pure, epic malevolence.
On top of being a gorgeous batch of tunes, Embers and Revelations also boasts a fine production job, all elements wrapped together in a warm, seamless morass of beautiful depravity. All the tones are appreciably rich, with that of the bass being one of the best I’ve ever heard. It melds in just below the guitars, perfectly audible, pulsing and bulbous with appreciable depth and enough low-end to provide the earthly counterpoint to the soaring riffs. Drumming is solid throughout, and of course the set sounds wonderful, clear and punchy with no excessive clicking. Vetis Monarch’s venomous vocals are not unique, but he provides a satisfying mid-range growl that suits the music to a tee, and he does so with a level of pronunciation beyond most vocalists of the style.
As should be obvious by now, this album has knocked me right the fuck out. I haven’t heard such a stirring marriage of these influences in a long time, since the blackened desert twang of Glorior Belli infected my life, and the band have immediately ascended to a throne comparable in my imagined empire to the aforementioned Absu, Belphegor, and Melechesh, surpassing even Goatwhore. The blackened death armies of the Reaper Division have found a new general. Time will be the judge of Weapon’s lasting impact, but for now I’m beyond stoked to have found this jewel, one of the most pleasant surprises of the year, as it slipped in right under my radar and broke my spirit with ravaging melodious might. I won’t go so far as to call it a masterpiece, not yet, but it’s pretty fucking flawless, and it’s growing on me with every listen. You owe it to yourself to check out Embers and Revelations, as fine an entry into the genre as has ever been released, and one with its own unique, undeniable spirit, seething with glorious venom as it hungrily and seductively wriggles through your defenses and slips its fangs right into your neck. Don’t worry, the transformation is painless, and soon enough, you’ll be one of us.
-Left Hand of Dog