It has taken eight years for UK blackened death metallers Aetherium Mors to get to this point of releasing their debut album but Drenched In Victorious Blood shows the wait was worthwhile. An inventive and accomplished release, the album is a collection of songs written across their years as a band but soaked in a melodic wash of imagination and skill which is as fresh as it is rewarding.
Formed in 2004, the Plymouth band took inspiration from bands such as Death, Carcass, At The Gates, and Dissection, their form of classic extreme metal openly flavouring the sound of Aetherium Mors. The band was originally a quintet but forced into becoming a studio project with the departure of members. This left the band in the accomplished hands of guitarist/bassist/drummer Dan Couch and vocalist Kane Nelson. Their involvement with other projects (Couch drumming for UK Black/Thrash band Holodomor and the guitarist in progressive metal band Daggers Drawn and Nelson fronting UK Sludge/Death band Warcrab) meant the band was enforced into a time of inactivity. Now the duo has returned with Drenched In Victorious Blood, the album a long overdue kind of record to date of the band and its journey.
The songs making up the release musically are inventive and well-formed providing an engaging and intimidating backdrop to a lyrical scathing indictment of the Christian religion. The songs, ‘Tales of a fictional, bloody conflict are entwined with influences of Lavey’s philosophies of mortals empowered into becoming self-made Gods.’ With new songs being written for an EP for late 2013, the album is a chapter musically in the creative presence of Aetherium Mors which belies the length of time the tracks span such their fluid companionship. You can tell the later songs, their maturer songwriting and breath clear but an easy fit with the older tracks showing the strength of early songs.
The opening Sons Of Men immediately seizes attention through the gnawing riffs and scowling growls of Nelson, his delivery a mix of death and black metal rasping. The rhythms have a metronomic gait which is hypnotic if distracting at times but it is the impressive guitar invention of Couch which leaves the biggest pleasure. The vocals and drumming is skilled and takes a worthy place in the fury of this and each song but the guitarist steals the biggest acclaim throughout, his stylish and adventurous attack compelling.
The strong start is exceeded by Luciferian March; a slowly consuming erosion which unleashes flurries of energy and senses poaching sonic malevolence to match the serpentine vocals. The track opens up greater thoughts and appreciation for the band, again predominately through the fine guitar play and continually shifting presence of the song. It is fair to say there is not a wealth of new avenues being explored by the band, those inspirations clear and dominate but it does not disguise the promise and satisfaction being explored and given across the release.
Dreadlord is the insidious encounter which comes next, its irresistible groove and acid coated melodic flourishes framed by imaginative and forceful rhythmic brutality whilst guest bassist Rhys Jackson (Athura) adds extra deep menace. It again ignites a further rise in appreciation for the release whose greatest pinnacles are found in the tracks The Fall Of God and Order Of The Talion. Both songs hold a greater expanse of expressive heart and inciting energy to enflame the ear, the first bringing a twisting groove and ravenous breath to spark full enthusiasm for its infectious creativity and the second offering mesmeric spires of sonic and melodic brilliance against the blackened gait of the song. These two songs especially inspire anticipation that the promise shown will be realised into something startling in the future from the band.
Closing with the towering Annihilating Fire which has additional guitar solos from Steve Dean (ex-Holodomor, Carcinoma) within its pleasing flames, Drenched In Victorious Blood is an album well worthy of investigation. With a desire for greater diversity to the still more than decent vocals of Nelson the only personal wish to make the album even more gratifying, Aetherium Mors is a band which should be watched closely especially if they can now concentrate on themselves without further distractions.
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright