Debuting after only one demo, the British 3-piece sees the guest particpation of two important guests (Paul Di' Anno and Tracey Benecke in one song) and really seems to stir things up from the widespread stagnation, similarly to their main influences: Skitliv, Shining, Atavist, Esoteric, Taake, Burzum, Darkthrone, Ghast, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, The Damned, Nick Cave, Nortt, Funeralium, Paganus and Electric Wizard.
The opening of "Provident Hymn" with bells and choral chants describes a ceremony in a religious place, but the sudden appearance of the "Malediction" Funeral Doom parts with Black vocals changes everything; unfortunately the programming is a bit confused, or better said 'undefined' because of the excessive loud mixing, yet what remains impressed the most are the words claiming peace is obtainable only when all churches, mosques and temples are burned into the ground; I believe this is probably true due to extremisms and sects that will never be able to coexist without trying to impose themselves, 99% of the times from Muslims towards Christians or Hebrews through terrorism and violence, Jehova Witnesses or other sects through brainwashing of the weak; in general, all religions try to impose control, and that's why you can have a spiritual side without adhering to any religion, and I think all movements impose a certain control on their members with unwritten laws and habits, so even the Metal community could have made me a bit of a slave, even if I adore being in the music biz; the issue is so big, that there's no time and space here for such an ample digression.
The following track, "Fellating the Lamb", is mostly slow Black with just one acceleration; the vocals are bitter and piercing beyond imagination and there's also a spectral Doom structure. Fans of Xasthur and Striborg will rejoice galore!
Blending Black and Industrial metal in the vein of Godflesh, "Defecate" also shows angelic piano lines and clean vocals contrasting with the rest mentioned above, whereas "Carrion Pond Drove" is but a short transition track.
In "Legions of Crows" the lion's share is represented by the drum machine, cold, obsessive and implacable, once again core of a composition fusing elements of Industrial Black together with an acceleration of hateful Ambience that shows the limits of the drum machine snare drum, not enjoying a great and powerful sound, although it might be intentional.
When Legions Of Crows undertake the hypnotic and martial "Bullshit Acres", one actually realizes they're creating something absolutely original and unheard, and that's a fact we need to give them credit for.
"Dull Grey" is crushing Funeral Death/Doom which might contain a few spread references to My Dying Bride, nevertheless the drum machine allows a diverse perspective and the entrance of the rotten screaming Black vocals gives the finishing stroke to any attempt of comparison; there're also clean vocals making the whole a little poetic, and this is due to the the outfit's British cultural background (which has to come out somewhere); the final magic keyboards constitute an additional embellishment to another masterpiece within these 9 tracks.
The closure is entrusted to "Coventry Carol - Mushroom Cloud over Bethlehem Mix", the song with the two guests and the net contraposition between Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, pretty close to Candlemass in some parts.
I've got plenty of friends - not all musicians - complaining about the lack of freshness within the Black metal scene and Metal in general; if they listened to this formation or Ebony Lake (another band from Great Britain confirming the positive period in terms of creativity from that country), they'd probably change their minds and understand that there's always somebody trying to push the limits farther thanks to songwriting ability and wonderful arranging ideas. I'm convinced the trio will go beyond even next time, as I read they will try to inject their Industrial Downtempo Experimental concotion of Funeral Doom and Black metal some German Depression Era Chanson.
For the moment, a tip of the hat for the result achieved, even though it's a pity there's no booklet, so the lyrics aren't all comprehensible. Well, you can't have all someone said...
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 20th September 2011