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WEAPON: "From the Devil's Tomb" - 80%

skaven, November 24th, 2011

I don’t think I lie if I say that Weapon is among the most interesting deathenened black metal band out there right now, and From the Devil’s Tomb, this Canadian group’s sophomore effort, is no short of being a brilliant album, though it’s one challenging monster and requires careful attention to open up to its full glory.

Whereas the album is often utterly savage, mixing some chuggy death metal riffage to more blackened guitarwork (hear the dissonant tunes of ”Vested in Surplise, and Violet Stole”, for example), the band knows exactly when to loose the bestial killing a bit and focus on melody and atmosphere. Most prominently this happens in the middle of the album where the Middle Eastern instruments appear in ”Sardonyx” and when the sweet instrumental ”LEFTHANDPATHYOGA” kicks in with its acoustic guitars - never sounding lame, however - but this fluctuation between well-thought melody and brutality happens inside individual tracks, too. A strong flavour of occultism reeks out of the record, giving it a mysterious vibe, though the occult side of the band is most definitely not just a gimmick to look cool; Weapon sounds really authentic in all departments.

Being a 54-minute monster, diversity is a requirement and Weapon succeeds in it favorably and I don’t feel myself tired in any part of the album. There’s a lot to discover even from just the guitar riffs on the album that are somewhat technical but with all pretentiousness aside. As the songs mostly run for over six minutes - the massive, Nile esque ”The Inner Wolf” even over nine minutes - these aren’t easy songs to digest and the first few spins might go from an ear to another.

Production-wise, From the Devil’s Tomb could maybe do slightly better, because the sound is somewhat loose, but this definitely satisfies all black metal listeners at least, and all instruments are there to be heard, and so are all the little details of ambience. Vetis Monarch delivers the rather low-end growls convincingly, and all in all it becomes hard to name any serious flaws about From the Devil’s Tomb. With an album of this high quality, I could see this rise to the top albums of 2010. I could also see the album deserving a half star more but, as usual, I’m hesitant go give that high scores to fresh records.

4 / 5
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