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Glorior Belli - Manifesting the Raging Beast - 90%

RevengeISeek666, May 5th, 2009

For the past few years, the French black metal scene has been getting more and more notoriety and attention. The reasons are that the bands who belong in it are trying – unwillingly or simply naturally – to reinvent and redirect this sacred sub-genre in an entirely new, perhaps even revolutionary direction. Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord were the first ones in the metal underground scene to have done – even achieved – that task; the former imposing a progressive, almost cinematic feel into their sound by unleashing utmost technical debauchery contrasted with the bleak, bitter and frantic motorized warfare of the latter. Other bands can be included in this note-worthy movement such as Antaeus, Obscurus Advocam, Peste Noire, Merrimack and many others. A band that discerns itself more than the rest, not to the point of being revolutionary and outstanding, but that can be plain simple, yet unorthodox, is Glorior Belli. Working hard on their next effort, Meet Us at the Southern Sign, which is due on June 6th on the legendary label Candlelight Records, the reclusive ever-changing trio has put a formula that can work well in black metal : simplistic, gloomy and simply put challenging. All of these characteristics are also found in their preceding effort, Manifesting the Raging Beast.

After an ominous, unsettling eighteen-second start, the album starts off with From Darkness There Springs Light, a mesmerizing play by the French black metallers. Infestuus’s snarly, slow yet very eloquent vocals leaves place to an intimidating environment, especially after the middle of the song. The guitars are hypnotic, gloomy, but also well-arranged. Infestuus is a talented performer and a very structured one I might add. You can sense an interesting contrast between the agony and the brutality of the music. Smaller gentle chords are opposed to buzzed, frenzied riffs. It’s as simple as that. Afterwards, the end of the song is simply put terrifying with a reminder of what black metal is and should always be. Speaking of which, "Deadly Sparks", "Severed From the Self” and “Said Lucifer in Twilight” are some of the fastest tracks, yet they also contain more agonizing, dreadful moments. The title track, “Manifesting the Raging Beast”, could very well be a well-adjusted rock song with the power chords and the verse-chorus-verse formula. However, everything dissipates after a minute and a half. The blast beats, the screaming, tortured vocals and the frenetic, tempestuous riffs appear all at once. “Sinister Resonance” is almost the symmetrical brother of the first track, but with more guts and courage than it thanks to that ascending effect with plays a few seconds after the familiar spellbinding of Infestuus’s presence. After the disarray stops, it’s all about how long you can make a riff last after you play it or in other words, resonance, hence the title. “Serpentine Admonition” is a calmer, more suitable song before the end of the album with the repetitive, almost groovy riffs and the simplistic percussions. Finally, we have “Altered Verses”, the most brutal track, but also the most effective with the memorable, almost legendary solo that emerges near the end, surrounded by an impending doom and sludgy riffs.

Over all, this album is definitely a chance to give to one of the emerging French black metal bands out there today. Manifesting the Raging Beast might not be a classic, but it’s certainly an interesting deal to give to people out there who are enquiring enough to discover another take on black metal, a more excruciating and agonizing one. It’s raw, yet atmospheric. An album filled with interesting contrasts. Leaving that aspect aside, all you will remember are these words : Manifesting the raging beast…

Standout tracks : Deadly Sparks, Severed From the Self, Manifesting the Raging Beast and Altered Verses

Manifested In Perfect Filth - 96%

Tzeench, August 8th, 2007

A little while ago, I had stumbled upon my first-heard French black metal outfit, Glorior Belli, with their eponymous debut, ‘Ô Laudate Dominvs.’ I was, of course, stunningly impressed by the filthy black newcomers. From there on, I discovered a very fertile scene of “filthy” as in “blackened with malicious, blasphemous intentions” French demons, too many of which to mention.

Two years later, my anticipation has proved itself worthy with the band’s sophomore effort, ‘Manifesting the Raging Beast.’ With a new drummer – M:A Fog from Italian black metal horde Black Flame and bassist Dispater from Merrimack, the powerful trio is more geared than ever to manifest some of the most salaciously evil intentions and atrocities.

The album has yet another great production, without being void of atmosphere or raw, gritty dirtiness. The overall production of the instruments remains nice and thick. Infestuus raw, raspy, violent vocals remain consistent throughout the whole album.
This album is slightly more slowly, mid-to-slow paced in an almost grungy/dirge feel of some of the songs, until kicking up the blast beat pace halfway through. The slower segments of the song almost have a certain “groove” of their own without sounding complacent or boring. For example, the opening track “From Darkness There Springs Light” is almost entirely slow to mid-paced but feels perfect in its most foreboding and unrelenting feeling of revoltingness. The second track, “Deadly Sparks” kicks back up to quintessential black metal speed and grind beats intact, but just as equally violent. “Sinister Resonance” switches back to a similar “grungy” (although I’m not referring to “grunge rock”, just the pace and feel of the riffs) feel as the first track, before kicking up the tempo, once again, for a sense of crescendo and frighteningly uncertain startle, then finishing off with yet slower belts of guitar strums ringing like bells of doom. “Severed From the Self,” a classic instantly in itself with its melodic despair and speedy drumming – this is one of the faster tunes on the album. The title track speaks for itself, the shortest track on the album (3:36) wastes no time in getting the beast released from its prison to unleash torment. The song switches between mid and fast tempos with mournful riffs. “Said Lucifer In Twilight” is rather a very mixed song, switching between tempos with very grandiose rests and abrupt changes, never letting any rest to the listener’s ears. “Serpentine Admonition” lends a direction of downward despair in its changing structure from a moderate “groove,” before climaxing in a fast-forward run of tremolo and quickly descending into a slower, fateful plough at the end. The closing track, “Altered Verses,” opens like a fantastic outtake from ‘Ô Laudate Dominvs.’ At the ending of the song, Infestuus attempts an unexpected tactic, an extended guitar solo! Something normally not practiced, let alone praised in raw black metal. Yet, it somehow works to downplay the decrescendo of the song. Although some parts of the solo sound a bit overdone and technical for black metal, even sounding a little out of place. The solo could’ve have been shortened or the ending rhythm parts could have been shortened as well.

Overall, this is another great example of a revival spirit of black metal with a new, higher standard in approach, aesthetic and attitude.

Along with other fellow French elites like Deathspell Omega, Hell Militia, Obscurus Advocam, Merrimack, Osirion, Bael, Temple of Baal, Ancestral Fog and Hirilorn to cite, Glorior Belli are firmly establishing themselves a strong entrance into the black metal scene and may have a potential spot as another worthy contender for both France and the black metal world. ‘Manifesting the Raging Beast’ is their anti-living proof, manifested in perfect filth.