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Ufych Sormeer > Anthem to the Glory of the Great Octagon > Reviews
Ufych Sormeer - Anthem to the Glory of the Great Octagon

Seriously good Bal-Sagoth worship - 79%

IronMonkey, August 26th, 2020

The first important thing on reviewing Ufych Sormeer's "Anthem to the Glory of the Great Octagon" is to state, the pretty evident fact, that this album is a tribute to (yes, they are fans of) cult british metal band Bal-Sagoth. Indeed, this is not just an influenced album, like could be some from Ensiferum or Finntroll; instead, this is intended to recreate the classic sound of Bal-Sagoth and explore it within the possibilities that the french fellows of Ufych Sormeer had to offer when they crafted this production.

And they got it pretty well, as the guys managed to capture with inmense accuracy the epic spirit and distinctive elements developed by Bal- Sagoth. Everything is here, from the over the top songtitles to the overwhelming keyboards, the victorious fanfares and the spoken passages, even the artwork.

The album starts (of course) with a full keyboard intro, with some Bal-Sagoth meets Helloween's "Invitation" overtones, and then, deliver us to the first metal track. We can inmediately account Ufych Sormeer's habilities to accomplish what they pretend, which are pretty solid, especially considering this is their debut. The vocals vary from ok in the shrieking to very outstanding in the spoken parts. The drums are good also. Althought the drummer's blast beats technic is somewhat weird, it is effective and convincent enough. Keyboards, a crucial element in this kind of music, are definitively one of the strongest points, rightly setting us within a magical, a victorious or a sinister mood when needed.

Some of the best moments are between tracks 3 ,"Crowned as the New Weilder of the Holy Blade", and 4, "In the Undivided Reign of the Horde Enslaving the Northern Lands" with epic marches and triumphal melodies intended to make the listener want to go out and slay some serpent men with a cimmerian sword. Its also possible to recognize some old Cradle of Filth elements, sucessfully added into the mix at some moments.

There are some flaws, like some technical aspects or the somewhat febble management of the musical breaks, but nothing so serious that can interfere with the listening. The album is pretty short (just 35 minutes), but it is a wise decision, given its nature. All in all, its a worthy listening for any Bal-Sagoth fan or anyone who enjoy this kind of epic/fantasy oriented metal.

Its not easy to rate this album. In one hand, its a (totally honest) rip-off, but in the other, its pretty good to the point that its a pity that Ufych Sormeer has never continued the history of the Great Octagon in any subsecuent album. They later changed their musical orientation to some more traditional heavy/power metal, but are currently inactive.