Spiritually dark and sonically ravishing, Incendium the new album from Greek black metallers Burial Hordes is a captivating tempest of threatening imagination and corruptive craft which leaves the deepest satisfaction in its venomous wake. A release which at times makes you work for your rewards but perpetually intrigues and excites with unpredictability and incendiary adventure, the album easily fulfils and satisfies the anticipation which brewed for its arrival. There are moments which slightly labour alongside other towering and scintillating offerings on the album but from its first toxic note to the very riveting last, Incendium is a recommended immersive treat.
Since forming in 2001, Burial Hordes has earned a respected potent place within European underground metal. Two well-received and acclaimed albums in the voracious shapes of debut War Revenge and Total Annihilation in 2005, which received a re-release via Pulverised Records three years later, and its successor Devotion to Unholy Creed also in 2008 and again through Pulverised, pushed the band’s presence along with demos, subsequent splits, and further releases into greater awareness. Now the new Devo Andersson (Marduk) produced album is primed to take things to another level with a shift in sound and maturity which only puts the band under a spotlight.
The first rapacious violation on the Hellthrasher Productions released album comes through Unleash Havoc, thumping beats and galloping riffs bringing the opener immediately into compelling view before a melodically honed sonic weave of imagination and skill paints an evocative and enticing invitation. Once secure in its mission the track explodes into a ferocious scourge of suffocating intensity and ravaging riffery driven by the malevolent guttural squalls of vocalist Cthonos. It is a predatory seduction which enthrals without making grand hook gifted gestures thanks to the persistent, almost nagging, and inventive guitar and bass craft of N.e.c.r.o and Psychaos.
The strong start is soon cemented by Horns of Consecration, its entrance also a scourge of pestilential energy and vocal spite but with an even stronger expectations avoiding exploration to its intrusive design. Like its predecessor the song is not setting down raging flames in its corrosive tracks but again provides a tumultuous engagement of invention and enterprise which seduces and grips the fullest attention whilst raising a real appetite from thoughts and imagination. That hunger is impressively taken care of with scintillating endeavour from here on in, starting with Nailed Curse. From its first breath a groove is dangling irresistible bait from its lure whilst a rhythmic barracking only weakens and absorbs any possible resistance. A stomping provocation with the strength of a battalion and ingenuity of an alchemist, the track casts a maze of twists and detours within a riveting expanse of fierce atmospheres within an annihilistic evocation.
Both Path of Bloodshed and Abomination keep the album foraging senses and thoughts on this new lofty plateau. The first combines melancholic and cantankerous emotiveness into a slowly pervading and consuming temptation which seduces and menaces simultaneously whilst unveiling an ever increasing and infectious weave of barbed melodies and caustic grooves. Insatiably addictive the emotional entrapment is soon exceeded by its outstanding successor, again bold adventure and virulent grooves adding potent temptation and thrilling enterprise to the niggling black hearted incessant call of the song. The best slice of deleterious mastery on the album, it sparks greater rabidity in the appetite for the song and the release itself which the emotionally intensive Scorned (Aokigahara) reaps. Near on eight minutes of scholastic teasing, injurious sonic adventure, and mouthwatering ruinous majesty the track is a gloriously evolving and investigative aural examination of theirs and our imaginations. It is epidemically contagious at times and ominously malignant in others to match the previous imperious peak on Incendium.
Black Shrouds of Depravity and the album’s title track almost come as an anti-climax having to follow the stunning quartet of tracks before them. Both are impressive and uncompromising slabs of blackened pestiferous excellence but more straightforward and direct without the spark of adventure which elevates the previous treats. Nevertheless they complete an impressive and commandingly satisfying provocation with a centre which sparks up moments of rapture in return for their brilliance. Burial Hordes has turned into one of the new essential investigations within modern black metal and Incendium the undeniable reason why.
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