Our introduction to Brazilian black metallers Patria came with their previous album Nihil Est Monastica; an encounter last year which without crossing into new boundaries with its early nineties driven sound was an exhausting and thrilling release. Now having signed with Indie Recordings, the band unleashes their new violation Individualism. As its predecessor the eleven track feeds and ruins expectations, a similar texture and sound as their previous provocation providing the voice of Patria’s sound but veined and underlined by another increase in exploration of the band’s continuing to grow imagination.
The new release is the fifth album from the quintet of band founders, vocalist Triumphsword and guitarist Mantus, alongside bassist WS Vulkan, guitarist Igniis Inferniis, and drummer Abyssius. The band was formed in 2008 and soon forging a reputation at home with their merger of dark Scandinavian ravages and South American designed metal. Their roots continue to inflame their releases as evidenced by their 2013 album and now its successor, but an evolution of invention and experimentation also spices their endeavours. The result, as mentioned in regard to Individualism, is an incitement which stays within the walls of traditional black metal but colours it with inciting designs and vicious seductions.
Recorded in the last three months of 2013, the album was mastered by Oystein G. Brun of Borknagar and features special guest Fabiano Penna in the songwriting and arrangement of the closing track of the release and the opening instrumental title track, Individualism making its bow with a brief orchestral call held in a cavernous ambience and clad in portentous intent. Its respectful incitement is soon smothered by the raging torrential blaze of Blood Storm Prophecy where rhythms jab and pummel the ears whilst riffs and sonic enticement rampage and intrigue respectively. The track meanders purposely around the senses in between its corrosive spurts of intensity, vocals a spiteful glaze upon the narrative and imposing breath of the track. Though the song is arguably not openly offering anything truly new it easily slips beneath the skin and psyche, terraforming resistance into a submissive and keen appetite soon fed potently by the third track of the album.
Uncrowned God of Light, as it predecessor, makes a savage entrance. The guitars sear air and flesh with violent rabidity whilst vocals add their own rich causticity to the suffocating mix. It is a welcomingly imposing assault but one which truly sparks imagination and passions when the band uncages thick addictive grooves and a richly tempting swagger. From its ferocious start the song finds a clever restraint which allows colourful melodies and infectious imagination to permeate and expand the riveting adventure. The track is outstanding and holds onto best album moment, though it is often seriously challenged t by songs like the following Outrage, a masterful track stamping its authority rhythmically and inventively from its opening seconds. Striding beats hits the ears first before a maelstrom of acidic hooks and scarring riffs clad a further destructive twist of drum intrusiveness. The sonic lures sweep around and lash the senses throughout to feed a continuing to increase greed for the album, whilst melody bred hues flame and score thoughts impressively within the blistering blaze.
In many ways the album does not get any better than across this pair of songs but thoughtful invention and dramatic exploits are never far from capturing the imagination to keep the album initially a powerful encounter and ultimately an increasingly persuasive and revealing investigation. The next up Orphan of Emptiness epitomises this, its first suasion enjoyable though breeding a few doubts but becoming a firm favourite with its constant unveiling of new textures and ideation over time. The song again parades its wares and intent with an unmistakable confident revelry, grooves and riffs marching boldly before slipping into a reserved but creative prowl. The initial rapacious attack of the song is soon seizing control again, though its shares and switches throughout with its counterpart to strong success as the persistently shifting landscape of the track becomes very compelling. The bursts of power metal like vocals and thrusts at its latter shows further bravery in song and songwriting but do fail to convince though they cannot defuse the strength of the tempest.
The severe consumption of Far Beyond The Scorn brings an enjoyable if underwhelming ravaging in comparison to previous tracks whilst Catharsis reignites ears with its controlled tsunami of multi-flavoured sonic and emotional vitriol, the song careering with a mouthwatering blend of melodic and raw textures which again never settle primarily into one stance to keep thoughts and senses busy and unrelentingly excited. By this point a breath is needed and the band offer the opportunity with the excellent instrumental Epiphany, a track bringing classical elegance together with sinister drama, the union another potent seed for the imagination. Its dark peace allows a steeling of emotions for the venomous squalls of Your Rotten Heart Dies Now and God’s Entombment, the first of the pair a sonic predator stalking thoughts with serpentine melodies and sonic toxicity, both licking air and senses with merciless mordancy. The guitars provide a poisonous web of menace and emotive severity but equally engage and enthral with an overpowering bait within the rhythmic chaining, an enterprise also explored by God’s Entombment but with a more direct abrasing enveloping.
Closing on the expansive yet intimate climate of Requiem For The Ego, another instrumental which permeates every pore and corner of mind and emotions, Individualism is a magnetic and rewarding violation. It is an encounter which builds in weight, intensity, and sheer quality with every plunge into its blackened depths. There are still parts where you are looking for sparks of originality but those gaps with each release seem to become few and far between as Patria continue to emerge as one of the more potent and gripping extreme metal propositions.
Individualism is available on CD/ Vinyl/Download via Indie Recordings now!
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