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Torchbearer - 77%

Felix 1666, July 21st, 2021

Ignorance alone is not enough - you also have to be deaf if you don't realize that Aegrus is one of the bands that carry the torch of Finnish black metal with special dedication through the Scandinavian forests and past 1,000 lakes. "Luciferian Engravings" celebrates its tenth birthday this year, but the style of this anti-religious music is (nearly logically) just like the dogmas of the church: timeless. Regardless of whether the musicians indulge in almost hypnotic guitar sounds flowing into languid rhythms or attack dynamically and aggressively, one thing is certain. The spirit, the special aura of black metal, is omnipresent. It doesn't matter that the rousing opener is called "Light from the Darkness". Fortunately, the four pieces do not have much light on offer.

The first official release of the Finns impresses with a very fitting sound. The guitars sound basic, appropriately dark and vicious. They shape the mix without being overly prominent. The genre-typical vocals oscillate between nagging, yelping and screaming and the rhythm section contributes a large part to the solid appearance. Not only that, the phased ride on the cymbals in the third track also sets nice accents.

The average length of the songs (six minutes) speaks for a certain self-confidence of the artists. Indeed, there was no reason for restraint. All pieces are excitingly constructed, avoid unnecessary repetition and bring the apocalypse again a few inches closer to mankind. With a good sense for the right number of breaks and tempo changes, the musicians have succeeded in creating stirring pieces. Okay, the end of the second track may seem a bit lackluster and for a short time the guitar runs of "...of Black Redemption" sound almost cheerful. But especially this piece shows the amazingly early acquired class of Aegrus. Here every friend of the Finland cult will find at least some parts that should please him - if he doesn't appreciate the whole song anyway. Straightforward, almost speed metal compatible sections, quite rapid eruptions after a restrained beginning, but also wild breaks let "Luciferian Engravings" shine once again in full glory towards the end. Is that innovative? No. Was that innovative in 2011? Not either (you bum, what stupid questions!). Sorry, I had to insult myself for a moment. But since I am not deaf and only sometimes ignorant, such questions are actually forbidden in connection with the music of Aegrus.