Saturday, February 18, 2012

Charon - Sulphur Seraph

Germany's Charon are a grim duet featuring the vocalist for Hatespawn (who did an awesome split with Dead Congregation which I own) and another dude who does all the instruments. Unlike the awful Finnish Charon these guys play intense black metal with abundant thrash elements. There's plenty of great solos, technical riffing, and a few times a semblance of death metal brutality. With all this good shit present it's hard not to say Sulphur Seraph (The Archon Principle) is one of 2012's stronger releases thus far.

Charon is no atmospheric slouch. They exhume a sense of creeping darkness throughout Sulphur Seraph. Drenched in reverb, tracks like "Key To Nowhere - The Absolute" rip into flesh with eerie tones and a cult-like vocal track. "Solution... Averse... Tenebrous... Answer - Nothingness" is a long descent into the depths of hell and features some of the more doom and death metal-influenced riffing, along with my favorite track "Flagellum Horribils (Trident Lash)," on Sulphur Seraph. The blend of styles is really apparent on these two tracks. In general Charon does remind me of a more black and less brutal sounding Scythian, which is a good thing in that Scythian is awesome, and a bad thing in that it makes Charon feel less inventive.

Whatever the case, Sulphur Seraph is worth a listen. I do have a few gripes with the different vocal distortions on here though. Other than the clean cult shouts, there's the occasional echo effect and that really lame Dimmu Borgir-sounding whisper distortion present on "Ambassador Of Bonds." I hate the shit out of that. It sounds stupid and takes me from the state of immersed and puts me in the state of annoyed. The production in general is as I said reverb-filled and as ready for this kind of music as it gets, and all the instrumentation is proficient enough. There's definately a few, noticeable pseudo-technical thrash riffs amongst the densely textured black metal atmosphere.

I keep comparing them to Scythian in my head. Charon isn't as fluid, technical, or for lack of a better word, brutal. However if you're looking for some semi-raw, intense black/death/thrash, Sulphur Seraph will tide you over.

7.5 out of 10


2. Sulphur Seraph (The Archon Principle)

3. Flagellum Horribils (Trident Lash)

4. Ambassador of Bonds

5. Thy Weapon

6. Key to Nowhere - The Absolute

7. Solution... Averse... Tenebrous... Answer: Nothingness

8. ‡‡


  1. AOTY a 7.5? Not enough Ulcerate I imagine... :P

  2. It's pretty good. Just nothing amazing for me, but Abyssal? That might be my album of the year thus far thanks to you.