Weapon – Embers and Revelations

Call Embers and Revelations, the latest album to spring from the cursed minds of Vetis Monarch and co., a statement of intent. The statement reads like one we’ve seen many, many times before: we will pull the entire spectrum of our enemies’ existence, physically, spiritually, and dogmatically, down to Hell. While an admirable and familiar sentiment to those of us that enjoy black/death metal of this kind, often such a war cry gets lost, simply since so much Metal brushes past the playlist of extreme music diehards on a daily basis. And with that saturation a certain desensitization occurs, quietly diminishing the impact of honestly-communicated, unsettling emotions that were meant to be fully expressed. Even so, the rare recording can and does infrequently claw its way up from the depths, and, if its conviction is sincere enough, the album will remain impervious to this ‘weakening’ phenomenon. By utilizing their finely-honed craft and and an unrepentant, yet vivid display of wrath, Weapon have created such a work. Embers and Revelations will suspend your disbelief of monsters in the dark.

Opening with a haunting, demon-yelp of a riff, opener ‘First Witnesses of Lucifer’ sounds exactly like what the soundtrack would be to any film documenting the fate of souls ‘enjoying’ that experience. The song builds and builds, tension mounting, with triplets anchoring Rom Surtr’s melodies of technical yet imminently tasteful guitarwork (think impressive but not over-the-top arpeggiated accents). By the time the voice and blasts come in at about 2:15, you’ve been properly prepared for the feast. Vetis Monarch’s frank delivery reincarnates Altars of Madness-era David Vincent, but with a clarity that steeps his rages against the Light with its own type of vitality. Coupled with an ultra-clean, yet nevertheless warm production, the album combusts from track to track, but with variable-timing; a variety of tempos, picking styles, and yes, audible and nicely chorus-effected bass guitar breaks (courtesy of Kha Tumos) help keep the color coming through each and every song. And despite the high-level guitar playing, the technically solid drumming of ‘The Disciple’ (nee’ Paulus Kressman) will still command your attention time and again. And the catchiness…I dare you not to read/shout the lyrics along with Vetis Monarch’s urgent barks (this did not happen: “’Feral-Harlot! Unchaste-Spirit! Maha-‘ oh, hey, sorry, significant other, didn’t see you standing there…”). But Weapon can be wordless and still provoke. Instrumental and no-less-the-powerful-for-it track ‘Grotesque Carven Portal’ contains floating rhythms, screaming artificial harmonics, and a closing feedback fade-in (I say ‘in’ because it connects directly with the title track); a bit too short though. A minor quibble, worth noting only because, well, damn it, these guys can play, and unbridled instrumentation of this caliber (with taste, not wankery) deserves to be dwelt upon. The only other – also minor – issue I have with Embers and Revelations is that, while the Eastern influence is still present, I like how in comparison that particular style feels more pronounced on their last album, 2010’s From the Devil’s Tomb. Admittedly, one could argue, however, that creating an Eastern effect subtly (Embers and Revelation’s title track is a prime example) takes just as much effort, if not more, than employing these soundscapes in an overt manner.

Bottom line: buy. This is a record I’ve listened to fifteen times in the last week, and thirteen of those were not for the purposes of this review. What Mr Monarch’s impeccable word/guitar-smithing and his fellow band members contributions have given us will continue to unfold after repeated lessons. That’s what ‘impervious’ albums do. Weapon, we have received your statement of intent, and we will submit to your demands. -Jim

-Relapse Records

~ by cliftonium on October 16, 2012.

3 Responses to “Weapon – Embers and Revelations”

  1. Listened to this again today, and finally on vinyl ! Sounds SO MUCH better than that damn stream on Invisible Oranges (although, did appreciate that very much). Vinyl through a tube preamp makes this bad boy of an album immensely warm and deadly!

  2. Patrick, sounds like you have a much better record rig than I do \m/ Tubes make everything better! And yeah, this album’s going on my Best of 2012 list …

  3. […] Weapon – Embers and Revelations Weapon’s latest – a tour-de-force of classic Thrash and Death Metal – has a Satanic […]

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