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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