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Glorior Belli
Manifesting The Raging Beast

Company: Southern Lord
Release: 2007
Reviewer: Etiam
Rating
3.5

  • A strong, respectable black metal effort



  • Given Southern Lord's checkered past in signing black metal acts, it was difficult to approach Glorior Belli's 'Manifesting The Raging Beast' without skepticism. On the other hand, they are riding the extremely successful wave of modern French black metal, which is reason enough for many fans to give them a chance and ignore their label's track record altogether. Southern Lord were no doubt aware of this, too, and in releasing 'Manifesting The Raging Beast' would have had met with passing success, at least, regardless of the material's actual quality. Fortunately, this album proves to be more than bandwagon fare and is a commendable sophomore outing, without stepping entirely from the shadow of its peers.

    From the outset, it is immediately apparent that Glorior Belli have a natural knack for atmosphere. Full, dissonant chords with relatively few prominent lead melodies, spacious production, and an austere, reverent performance imbue these eight tracks with the unsettling sense of sanctity so characteristic of the French scene.

    Hardly a one-note effort, though, 'Manifesting...' does break from its country's standard mold in a number of respects. This is particularly evident on tracks like 'Severed From The Self', where the mid-tempo riffing takes on hints of groove reminiscent of Sweden's Craft. On many other songs, it also seems that Infestuus has taken quite a bit of inspiration from Finland's Clandestine Blaze, without delving too deeply into lo-fi monotony. Infestuus's voice has a guttural timbre comparable to Mikko Aspa's, the riffing is similarly dense, and 'Deadly Sparks' even includes the lyric, 'I am a...clandestine flame'. A tenuous connection, perhaps, but one nonetheless.

    Although they are highly reminiscent of the aforementioned groups--among others--these comparisons are all favorable, and no single influence is too overpowering. From its surprisingly sophisticated lyrics (metaphysical Satanism--what else) to its thorough songwriting and execution, 'Manifesting The Raging Beast' is committed to retaining an individual identity throughout. Admittedly, the latter portion of the album drags a little as a consequence and includes a highly questionable guest solo in 'Altered Verses', but the effort at originality speaks better for the band's credibility than the safe path of derivation would have. Besides, the strength of the remainder is such that we can chalk up these shortcomings to a growing process. Delivering forty solid minutes of carefully rendered, blaspheming paeans, 'Manifesting The Raging Beast' is a strong, respectable effort.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: GLORIOR BELLI
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Manifesting The Raging BeastGlorior Belli
    2007
    Etiam2/29/2008


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