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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.