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What do you get when you take four skilled musicians, throw in some lyrics that could have been written by the mighty Deathspell Omega, and some hard drugs just for good measure? Why, you get Weapon, of course. The man known as Vetis Monarch formed Weapon in 2003 with the desire to invoke the essence of Satan in a very unique way, and he definitively succeeds here.
This is Weapon's third release up to date, consisting of a pair of tracks clocking in at fourteen minutes. The first change I notices with this release was the improvement in production; if you recall the previous releases, some of the instruments were far too loud in the mix (particularly the guitar) and sounded a bit muddy. This is no longer the case, and while this release is far from "polished"(thank the dark one for that), it's definitively a far cry from the demo sound the first to releases sported. The guitarwork is some of the most interesting and original that I have come across in my time as a black metal fan; the solos are some of the best I've heard in any metal genre, period. The drumming that Menschenfiend provides is good, as you would expect it to be if you have heard Begrime Exemious. Vetis Monarch's vocal style is similar to the one found in Proclamation's releases, meaning nothing but good. The echo effect used on the vocal tracks gives them a powerful, undeniable quality, and capture the listener's complete attention. The lyrics deal with Satanism in a middle-eastern context, and are as complex as they are thought-provoking.
This is a must-have for any black metal fan interested in the Canadian scene. A good number of the other greats hailing from this country, such as Blasphemy, Lust, and Conqueror, have given up the ghost; the time is ripe for Weapon to carry the flag. At the time that I am writing this, Para Bhakti...Salvation is out of print, so I highly suggest anyone who has an opportunity to obtain this 7" to do so.
Well this is the first review for "Para Bhakti... Salvation" and also my first review for Metal Archives. So, here goes!
Let me start by saying that in my opinion, Weapon is probably one of the best, most original Black metal bands that are around nowadays (along with Negative Plane and Ondskapt.) It really sucks that they dont play live because that would be a surreal experience.
This 7" shows a big progression in terms of production. One of the issues with Violated Hejab was that the guitars were too muffled and overall it lacked the punch that this new 7" has. This was recorded at Deathcult Studio, some of you might remember it because that is basically the studio of Lust dictator Sabazios Diabolus. In the liner notes it says Sabazios even co-produced the EP and he obviously did a great job.
So after 3 years we get new music from Weapon, and right off the bat the biggest noticable difference is the drums. This incidentally is also the "weakest" aspect of the EP. Don't get me wrong, the drummer is not incompetemt nor sloppy. He just does not have the creativity or technical flair that the first drummer had. Arcan of Death is a standard death metal drummer, nothing more nothing less. If Weapon appealed to you for the amazing drumming, then this EP might disappoint you.
Ok, on to the songs. 'Archana' is the first one, and ranges from slow, atomospehric almost melancholic parts, to fast Carcass type hooks and even moments that are like Deathspell Omega in SMRC. Some fantastic guitar solos are performed by Vetis Monarch and the vocal attack is still poweful and identical to previous releases. The bass lines are very well executed, courtesy of Agni Nethra, who is bascially Vermin of Axis of Advance / Revenge. His work in Weapon is VERY diferent from what he does in his other bands, and it would be great to hear him do more of this style of metal.
The title track is more of a mid-paced affair, but it's more aggresive than 'Archana'. In 'Para Bhakti... Salvation' we find some more killer guitar solos and also some deadly bass breaks that are just fucking creepy. The song ends with a strange, ritualistic outro that actually features some clean vocals which you have to hear to believe.
So the Weapon website says that their album is next, which I am very eager to hear. The only reason this 7" did not get 100 / 100 is due to the drums being not as strong as before. Hopefully this will change!