Sear Bliss
Forsaken Symphony

(Red Stream Rec.)


MARK: 75/100



Also this time the Hungarian act achieves fairly good qualitative levels with its 5th album, showing the fundaments for future and, hopefully, deeper experimentations.

Sear Bliss already skim what the latest Enslaved have produced, never becoming so psychedelic as them. As a matter of fact in their symphonic black metal you can find icy guitar streams, as well as proportioned interventions of trombone ("Eternal Battlefields", "Enthralling Mystery"), large plateus of sidereal keyboards, like at the beginning and end of "Last Stand".

The title of the song "My Journey to the Stars" confirms that the whole song is based on astral trips towards new dimensions and worlds, often frozen, inhospitable, tho leaving vague flashes of light and hope at the end of the composition.

Indeed darkness rules "She Will Return" and "Enthralling Mystery", mostly because of Csaba Csejtei's come-back, former guitar player and songwriter in Sear Bliss. contributing to the fishing out of stylistic elements present only in the far debut "Phantoms" of '96, put together with rides and stream-of-consciousness lyrics contained in "Grand Destiny".

"The Forsaken" and "When Death Comes" proudly show that with the simple effect Metalzone and a dry, raw and dirty recording (esp. as for the drums) one can realize an album soaked in a sheer wicked aura without ever boring. "The Forsaken" also contains more 'controlled' parts, creating an interesting mix between the razorblade vocals and guitars, and the dreaming keyboard sounds, before the final jerks.

The feeling of primal black metal of the early '90's is brought back in "Eternal Battlefields" and "The Vanishing" in particular, inside quite lengthy and full-of-highs-and-lows tracks, lots of significative keyboard inserts, which make the CD reach a total duration of more than an hour; an hour well spent if what you look for is fleeing from everyday stressing, alienating and fucking capitalistic routine, and all you wish is entering a world where courage really is the best weapon so that a worthy warrior doesn't become one of the tempting demons he's fighting, and faces his and every human being nightmares with success.

The concept brings the hero to the victory against the witch ablaze on a stake depicted in the cover, one more time by the popular Kris Verwimp ("The Hour of Burning", opened by a lulling arpeggio). The woman represents nature according to the ancient Magyar mythology. This closing track, the best along with "Last Stand" and "The Vanishing", is my fave thanks to the effected diabolical vocals, horrorific keyboards, matched with incredible riffs, groovy accelerations and cascades of inspired guitar solos in the vein of the '80's classical ones to the fading end.

Not many black metal come out today, and all the more reason if you're fans of low-fi black with class and experimentation touches, this record is for you.

Sear Bliss are about to reach the top of their career: they just have to try to develop their songwriting more, be more incisive and make their music even more involving. As to now, they teach us that hell is not a boring place at all, because it's not only flames and lava, but it has another dimension here on earth life, which is empty, frozen, absolutely lonesome, eternally sad, and as terrifying as the classical one described by the Bible or Dante Alighieri. Enter at your own risk, o you who dare!