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Originally written for the Inarguable.
Weapon is a Canadian blackened death metal band. Formed in Calgary, the band now resides in Edmonton, Canada. The band is made up of Vetis Monarch (vocals and guitar), Apostle VIII (guitar), Kha Tumos (bass), and The Disciple (drums). The blackened death metal genre is a genre I should be following more than I do. The bands that I have heard have done an amazing job at combining these two extreme metal genres. Before hearing this album, I did not know who Weapon was. After hearing it, I am already craving for more!
From the Devil’s Tomb is a nine track epic. To start off, the album artwork is very well put together. The album artwork details something emerging from the tomb of the devil. In good, Satanic form, there are many images of horned beings, jagged brimstone precipices, and to top it all off, an upside image of Jesus Christ. Musically, each track captures the influences of black metal and death metal very well. For example, three tracks come to mind. 'LEFTHANDPATHYOGA' is a slow song; meant to be an intro to its following song The Inner Wolf. However, this track is very well written. It is not a sound clip and it is not less than 30 seconds long. It is a slow, chordal riff that is given a boost with a slow, powerful, simple drum beat behind it. The song builds with intricacy and complexity until it leads into The Inner Wolf. Another song that really hooked me was the second song, entitled 'Vested in Surplice, and Violet Stole'. This song captures the bands black metal influences to the mark. Blast beats and tremolo picking are very prominent in this song. However, it strays far from stereotypical because of how catchy and intricate the riff is. Through and through, 'Vested in Surplice, and Violet Stole' is one of my favorite songs on the album. Lastly, 'Towards the Uncreated' is another song that really caught my attention. What makes this song special is its very accurate blending of both black metal and death metal. The song is 7:16 long and contains very well written black and death metal sections that are well dispersed throughout the song. My favorite part of this song is at marking 3:30. Up until this point, the band is playing a black metal riff. Suddenly, the riff changes to a slow, simple guitar riff with simple drumming. This section reminded me of many of my favorite classic death metal bands like Asphyx, Bolt Thrower, and Grave. For a blackened death metal, Weapon has done their listening and it is showcased quite well in the final track.
This album was a joy to listen to. As a fan of black metal and of death metal, the genre of blackened death metal is right up my alley. If you too are a fan of both of these extreme metal genres and are tired of the same old material, than your search ends with "From the Devil’s Tomb". Weapon is a band with great promise and amazing potential. I hope that this band gains the attention they deserve, as well as the success that they seek. Pick up a copy of this record through Ajna/Agonia Records and start head banging!
Putting this animal under the needle for the first time I thought to myself, oh great; another band playing the time machine game, adorned in anti-christian outerwear with blasphemy as jewelry. I took issue with their performance too. It wasn't "accomplished" enough. But the buzz in the underground had to be warranted to a certain degree, right? So I gave them another spin. I got over myself and Weapon crept under my sheets, swords drawn, forked tongues hissing as they simultaneously cast old and familiar spells on your Icelandic son.
The spells in question are the inspirational acts Weapon pay homage to while creating a fully realized sound of their own, as if they were stationed in Edmonton by the dark lord himself in order to carry the torch left in their spike-studded hands by their elders. From The Devil's Tomb is like a diabolic listening party in the burning pits of hell. I'm immersed by echos of blastin' yet thoughtful Dissection; the ghoulish occult and carnal dimensions of Morbid Angel, the anthemic and outrageous Celtic Frost and the relentlessness and bile of Kreator. They are all on the menu, served raw. The blood squirts as you pierce each piece of meat with your fork and it trickles all over the plate as you cut it.
This blackened death mass thrashes onwards with such reckless abandon and irreverence, one can not help but join in. Sure, I could mention similar artists that are tighter, but such rehearsed attributes would rob Weapon of their charm. Weapon's claws shine, sing and cut through the opposition like butter, when other bands are guilty of de-clawing themselves by over-thinking their strategy and bombarding us with overwrought studio products. Where other acts are flat and dry, Weapon pulsates and flows.
From The Devil's Tomb feels loose, alive and sprightly - yet vile, dirty and surprisingly expansive. The latter is achieved with tasteful, subtle, and perfectly timed supplementary sounds and instrumental additions that give the album depth and an element of surprise in just the right doses that never override the music's primal base. This gives Weapon an edge other bands wish they had. Worshiping the past rarely sounds this classy and full of righteous flair.
Quality song writing, a spirited performance and smart production make From The Devil's Tomb praiseworthy, and it comes highly recommended.
- Birkir Fjalar
Originally published on http://halifaxcollect.blogspot.com 27th October 2010
I don’t think I lie if I say that Weapon is among the most interesting deathenened black metal band out there right now, and From the Devil’s Tomb, this Canadian group’s sophomore effort, is no short of being a brilliant album, though it’s one challenging monster and requires careful attention to open up to its full glory.
Whereas the album is often utterly savage, mixing some chuggy death metal riffage to more blackened guitarwork (hear the dissonant tunes of ”Vested in Surplise, and Violet Stole”, for example), the band knows exactly when to loose the bestial killing a bit and focus on melody and atmosphere. Most prominently this happens in the middle of the album where the Middle Eastern instruments appear in ”Sardonyx” and when the sweet instrumental ”LEFTHANDPATHYOGA” kicks in with its acoustic guitars - never sounding lame, however - but this fluctuation between well-thought melody and brutality happens inside individual tracks, too. A strong flavour of occultism reeks out of the record, giving it a mysterious vibe, though the occult side of the band is most definitely not just a gimmick to look cool; Weapon sounds really authentic in all departments.
Being a 54-minute monster, diversity is a requirement and Weapon succeeds in it favorably and I don’t feel myself tired in any part of the album. There’s a lot to discover even from just the guitar riffs on the album that are somewhat technical but with all pretentiousness aside. As the songs mostly run for over six minutes - the massive, Nile esque ”The Inner Wolf” even over nine minutes - these aren’t easy songs to digest and the first few spins might go from an ear to another.
Production-wise, From the Devil’s Tomb could maybe do slightly better, because the sound is somewhat loose, but this definitely satisfies all black metal listeners at least, and all instruments are there to be heard, and so are all the little details of ambience. Vetis Monarch delivers the rather low-end growls convincingly, and all in all it becomes hard to name any serious flaws about From the Devil’s Tomb. With an album of this high quality, I could see this rise to the top albums of 2010. I could also see the album deserving a half star more but, as usual, I’m hesitant go give that high scores to fresh records.
4 / 5
[ http://www.vehementconjuration.com/ ]
Weapon is a Canadian death metal band which appears to have begun its existence in Bangladesh. (And they have one of the coolest band names ever.) I picked up their sophomore full-length From the Devil's Tomb after I heard them compared to their fellow Canadians, Mitochondrion.
And then I was completely confused by that comparison, as they sound nothing like Mitochondrion. Instead, imagine what would happen if Melechesh went death metal and opted for a raw production. Nile would seem to be the most obvious thing to compare this to, since it's death metal with a lot of Middle Eastern styled leads, but in terms of songwriting it's much less dense and the leads are often played in a blackened Middle Eastern style, so the similarities to Melechesh are stronger. The solos are interesting and widely varied, from an old-school heavy metal one on the title track to a whammy bar-reliant one on "The Inner Wolf". The bass and rhythm guitar seem tied together, playing the same thing throughout the album, with the rare exception of some of the mellower parts. The hoarse growl/rasp vocals are convincingly done. But it's the drums that draw the most praise from me, with a very natural sound and a wide variety of interesting fills (especially check out "Vested in Surplice, and Violet Stole"). Traditional instruments also make a few appearances.
Most of the album is mid-paced, with "The Inner Wolf" being the slowest track and "Sardonyx" being the fastest. Mostly-mellow instrumental "LEFTHANDPATHYOGA" serves to mix things up a bit more as well. And the album finishes shy of an hour, so it doesn't last too long. All of this sounds like very high praise, but there are a few duds. "Vortex - 11724" and "Trishul" are both pretty boring, so their inclusion drags the whole thing down despite a number of other great tracks.
The Verdict: If you like Melechesh, and you like death metal with raw production, you should definitely check out Weapon. From the Devil's Tomb has an approach you haven't heard before, and it has a lot of great music on it.
originally written for http://fullmetalattorney.blogspot.com/
Review originally published at http://www.teethofthedivine.com by Erik Thomas
Here’s a release I saw on numerous ’2010 year end’-lists, but I never got around to listen to it in a timely fashion myself and thus, I couldn’t determine if it should be a best of 2010 ‘best of’ contender. But with a 2011 US release date via The Anja Offensive, I can now use the ol’ release date loophole and possibly stick From the Devil’s Tomb on my 2011 year end list without feeling bad. The album certainly deserves to be considered for such a nomination.
Improved on every facet (including the production) from a debut that I was rather lukewarm on, From the Devil’s Tomb, is the same hues of ritualistic black/thrash metal akin to Celtic Frost and Absu mixed with some Greek esoterica, played with Watain’s conviction and sneaky melodies. However, everything has an arcane savagery and mysterious occult sheen, which when paired with much better and memorable riffs make for an intoxicatedly surreal, yet menacing album.
It’s obvious from opening title track main man Vetis Monarch has sharpened all aspects of Weapon‘s sound. The guitars have more bite, and while riff are steeped in a nasty black thrash essence, they tangibly lean much further into death metal structures, as does Vetis’s vocals. The occult/ ritualistic elements seem much more natural, organic and harrowing than the debut and the end result is a swirling metallic churning beast that comes across as the unholy alliance of Deathspell Omega and Incantation (“Trishul” and standouts “The Inner Wolf” and otherwise seething “Sardonyx” being particularly effective). The artwork sums the sound up perfectly.
As with the debut and most music of this nature, From the Devil’s Tomb isn’t about single songs or moments but rather a single 54-minute, nerve wracking entity. That being said, striking instrumental “Lefthandpathyoga” breaks up the furor of the album with some surprising moments of melody and introspection. Surrounding those two tracks though are plenty of atonal vortexes such as the aptly named duo of “Furor Divinus” and “Vortex 11744” which all rumble and spew with a artistic vehemence, like a demonic spirit being violently exorcised from a innocent childish human shell.
With “Towards the Uncreation” closing the album in perfect style, I think Weapon has entered the cusp of elitism for this new millennia of genre defying metal. And it only took them two releases to do it!
This album is pretty much perfect.
Weapon's second release, From the Devil's Tomb, is very much the successor of Drakonian Paradigm. The sound remains quite similar, but this is definitely a much more mature album; the songs fit together more cleanly, transitions are smoother, the riffs are better, and the atmosphere is much more evil. All the characteristic black metal features are to be found: blast beats, tremolo picking, atmosphere, hellish vocals; but this album is so much more than your average black metal release. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the straightforward styled black metal, but From the Devil's Tomb is a masterpiece of subtle creativity in what some claim to be a dying, festering genre.
The album starts with a single, over-powered slow guitar which is shortly accompanied by drums, bass, and another guitar. This continues for a full minute before everything fades out but the drums, followed closely by all the instruments crashing back; vocals kick in around two minutes. The vocal style is worth stopping to note: not contained to the standard black metal rasp, they come off as a bit huskier and deeper; not a death growl, however. They evoke some camparisons to Arckanum's later material, but throatier and farther back in the mix. The lyrical matter is also, surprisingly for black metal, worthy of special note. The themes are of a standard satanic ilk, but they are done so masterfully and artistically.
The first and title track continues on and contains well placed guitar solos which remind one a bit of later Behemoth without being remotely derivative. The tempo changes a few times, always effectively, building atmosphere. Yet still contained are perfect headbanging segments interlaced with faster, repetitive vocal injections. The song ends after seven minutes with Vetis Monarch rasping "INTO THE DEVIL'S TOMB…", a journey to which this album would make the perfect accompanying soundtrack.
The album continues on in the same general style with sufficient variance to keep it interesting. One of their characteristic elements is tempo changes and stops; this can get annoying in lesser metal, but well placed vocals, guitar drones, and masterful, intense drumming make the transitions notably enjoyable instead of tasking. I also can not stress enough the skillful use of atmosphere: small grunts and guitar distortion go a long way in giving this album a very strong demonic tone; such a tone that should send fear into the spine of the uninitiated listener or lesser mortal.
For the life of me I can't pick a favourite track; they're all appropriately unique and interesting. to name a few, LEFTHANDPATHYOGA stands out as a quiet, softer tracker, offering a nice break from the satanic brutality, which then leads perfectly into The Inner Wolf, which opens with a haunting choral-esq drone. Furor Divinus has a very memorable section where Vetis calls out the name of Indian deities, and Vortex - 11724's chorus is highly chantable. Trishul also contains a fantastic sectino where the vocal mix changes and an offering of the vocalist's life is given to the Morning Star.
Easily the best release of 2010.
Released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States Licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/ ; Originially for Underground Violence Issue 38 and niflheim.logik.li
Weapon is one of several 21st century extreme metal bands that has adopted a reinvigorated approach to their medium, through a close examination of the constituent elements that carried it bloodied and screaming to the fore from the imaginations of its troubled pioneers. This is done through a careful writing process, its focus ever upon a cascade of darkening riffs that will not only sear the senses of the listener with aromatic, occult nostalgia, but offer a compulsive reason to listen back. This is no monotonous blast fest, but a dynamically woven journey through the warmer, ritual climes of black and death metal, drawing as much from old Morbid Angel, Deicide and Vital Remains as it does from Bathory or Mayhem.
The production of From the Devil's Tomb alone is a marked improvement over the debut effort, Drakonian Paradigm, not to mention the actual craftsmanship of the guitars (though to be fair, its predecessor was partially culled from the band's earlier demo and EP material). "From the Devil's Tomb" itself serves as vanguard, with 2 minutes of slower, majestic fare before the eruption of a blitzkrieg of drums and guitars that unfortunately seem to lose some of their luster the faster the track moves. Vetis Monarch's vocals are an extremely blunt tool, faint traces of syllables being barked out in a custard of abyss phlegm, and I'm not sure they offer much in the way of enunciation or variability to complement the guitars, but they seem suitably dire, and he often off-sets them with a more grunted tone.
Of course, there are far better songs than this opener lying in wait, as soon as the more eerily threaded "Bested in Surplice and Violet Stole", which seems to dance across a sensuous, basting fire before its warlike bombast arrives like a platoon of charging hell hounds. "Furor Divinus" starts with a brief, Slayer-like rhythm that soon blasts off, while "The Inner Wolf" serves as a collision of writhing, black/thrash and an epic visage delivered courtesy of a pipe organ segment and diabolic leads. "Lefthandpathyoga" is proof of some 'sensitive side' within the band, or rather their ability to create a compelling atmosphere through a melodic instrumental without coming off trite against the harsher environs, and "Sardonyx" is arguably the best of the album, where its Eastern intro and bridge collide with some raging guitar work that never ceases to provoke a particular foreign charm. "Trishul" and "Towards the Uncreated" also offer their share of thrills and atmospheric chills.
Weapon are perhaps best recommended to the fan of those black/death metal bands rooted deep in their inherent mysticism: perhaps Absu, or the great Melechesh serve as worthwhile comparisons, while the more intense, brief batteries here might border Angelcorpse territory. I found this sophomore far more satisfying than the debut, but there are still a number of riffs and sequences that don't manage to stick, and at times the music would be better served by more vicious, memorable vocals, as opposed to the bludgeoning indifference that often steers these off track. Otherwise, From the Devil's Tomb is a competent affair, with solid lead and drum work, and its share of hellish, if not ultimately inspiring guitar riffs, and alongside Begrime Exemious they stand as one of the better hybrid extremities coming out of Canada today.
I do love a good meaty chunk of bona fide extreme metal, don't you? The world may test my patience with endless(ly shit) one-man bedroom black metal bands and monotonous blasting death metal but when an act like Canadian's Weapon appear in my inbox all distaste is forgotten more swiftly than a bunch of reprobates like these could cause havoc in a nunnery. I want to introduce you to "From the Devil's Tomb" and to know that it is good. Blindingly good.
Their moniker is metal as fuck, the title means business and the 9 songs within flay skin in a clinical demonstration of what it means to be both brutal and capable of writing songs in methods that were common place in the early days of extreme metal yet apparently absent from much of today's fare. "Inner Wolf" is an exorcism of the weak plastic metal passing nowadays for 'extremity'; opener "From the Devil's Tomb" does away with the need for gentle introductions by providing the first of many headbanging riffs to come; "Vortex 11724" is a mean mother of a mid-paced song; and "Vested In Surplice, And Violet Stole" an approximate marriage of the best of BM and DM. Such is the dark cavernous feel to the riffs coupled with the modern-yet-dank production that once Weapon get going the ferociousness of their attack has proven enough to excite a cynical 'heard it all before' type like myself, high praise indeed from anyone who knows me.
More so than previously enjoyable black/death efforts from Spearhead, Destruktor, Goatwhore and Ruins the fervent deviation of which Weapon take from the skull-crushing blast inspires the whole effort onto a greater plain. Ceaseless brutality can have it's moments but variation a great record makes, as the Asian vibe of "Sardonye" reflects the roots of mainman Vetis Monarch and "LeftHandPathYoga" impressively displays the ethnic instrumentation of the band, does the rating of the album go upwards. This awareness to detail allows the album's 54 minutes to fly past in a blur of metallic loveliness with the added bonus that it's hard to find excuses not to press play very soon after.
The accompanying press notes "From the Devil's Tomb" as a perfect balance of Morbid Angel's "Blessed are the Sick" and Mayhem's "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas", extremely ambitious words of course, yet merited from multiple listens to the band's second album. Much like the criminally under-rated The Chasm, Weapon are exponents of the RIFF; it's importance placed above all else and the sole being upon which "From the Devil's Tomb" is worthy of recommendation. Naturally it will take a lot more than just a 'great' record for Weapon to reach the consciousness of all their potential fans but on the basis of "From the Devil's Tomb", Weapon have at least done half the job in getting there.
Originally written for www.Rockfreaks.net
This is the second full-length album from Weapon, a Canadian band playing black metal.
The first five seconds of Weapon's From the Devil's Tomb should immediately silence the specious complaints about the clean production on their last album, Drakonian Paradigm. The guitar tone here is pleasantly filthy, with a good layer of distortion and plenty of impact. The drums are a little clicky, which is annoying, but they're low enough in the mix that they're easy to ignore. The vocals, too, are slightly lower in the mix than they were on Drakonian Paradigm. I wish they weren't; I miss the shout-along parts, which were one of the best things about that record, and the lyrics are a bit too hard to make out on this one. All in all, though, From the Devil's Tomb has a much more fitting and powerful sound than Weapon's last album did.
The songwriting on this record is more frantic and death-metal oriented than on Drakonian Paradigm, but the band's signature melodic leads and Greek-style atmosphere still take center stage. The combination is quite effective -- songs like "Furor Divinus" are utterly savage, yet surprisingly catchy. The repetitive chorus on that one is just perfect! The vocal work is excellent throughout, and adds a tremendous amount of depth and mystery to the songs; the occult lyrics on this record are both original and unsettling, unlike most. "Vorter - 11724" is a fine example: the mid-paced riffing and solemn, echoing vocals are the perfect setup for the quick, sharp guitar work and drum fills to come. "Lefthandpathyoga" is a surprisingly emotional instrumental track, which does a fine job of changing the atmosphere without breaking it; the acoustic guitar here is great. "The Inner Wolf" is easily my favorite song on the record, though, and perhaps my favorite Weapon song in general. Its crunchy, mid-paced riffs and imperious atmosphere are chilling! The eerie chanting which opens the song is exceptional, as is the drumming throughout, especially the cymbal abuse -- this band has one of the finest drummers in metal today, and this track showcases him to the fullest! "Towards the Uncreated" deserves mention, too, as one of the best album-closers I've heard in some time. Its epic sprawl encompasses everything that's great about this band, while making room for some truly exceptional solos.
From the Devil's Tomb is one of the best albums of the year, hands down. Those who liked the first album should be overjoyed by this, and I expect it'll also convince most people who were skeptical about Drakonian Paradigm. Anyone who worships the old Greek or Czech black metal sound will play the grooves off of this record. Highest recommendations.
Standout tracks: "Furor Divinus", "Vortex - 11724", "The Inner Wolf"
Review by vorfeed: http://www.vorfeed.net