Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Weapon - Embers And Revelations

Calgary's Weapon impressed me with their melodic interpretation of black/death metal on 2010's From The Devils Tomb. After a copyright fiasco with the United Kingdom's Weapon, many of the "Elite-ards" and internet-dwelling kvlt kiddies began to rage over how they had sold out and become some breed of melodeath poseurs unworthy of bearing the tattered flag of black/death metal.

This is stupid for a few reasons. One being that complaining about a band "selling out" is only relevant if the actual content of their music changes significantly. Two being that Weapon's music has always been driven by highly melodious riffing. On Embers And Revelations, I got exactly what I liked about From The Devils Tomb.

Well, somewhat. My problem with this album stems more from how those highly melodious riffs don't work this time around.

Embers And Revelations feels like nothing more than a pale shadow. From start to finish all the album does is make me think about how much I'd rather be listening to From The Devils Tomb, or that much better Azarath record from 2011. "Crepuscular Swamp, Unhinged Swine" is a prime example of this style not working. Groovy and toothless, it bounces along like a child skipping through an enchanted forest. I think Weapon realized this and decided to put "Liber Lilith," one of the few tracks with balls, right after it. "Vanguard Of The Morning Star" is the only other track on Embers And Revelations with balls. "Disavowing Each In Aum" however is a blast-ridden cocktease that ends with some drawn out riffs, some cymbal ting-a-lings, and a retarded phase effect.

Another thing that I noticed about Weapon was that they enjoy mid-album intermission tracks. "Grotesque Carven Portal" is the one for Embers And Revelations, and it's really fucking boring. The "solo" at the end obviously wasn't supposed to be a technical display of musicianship, so I can't fault them for it being completely flaccid in every way whatsoever. Then again that's how this whole damn album feels: like a collection of riffs that don't work.

At first it took me a little to figure out where things went wrong for Weapon. The production and the mix is good enough on Embers And Revelations. I guess the snare and kicks are a little flat compared to their previous efforts, but I find it tough to place the blame on that. The vocals are generally monotone rasps, but I can't entirely fault those either. The only thing to blame here is the songwriting. As a band that relies so heavily on writing memorable riffs and melodies, when those riffs and melodies fall flat so does the album.

4.5 out of 10

1. The First Witnesses Of Lucifer
2. Vanguard Of The Morning Star
3. Crepuscular Swamp, Unhinged Swine
4. Liber Lilith
5. Grotesque Carven Portal
6. Embers And Revelations
7. Disavowing Each In Aum
8. Shahenshah


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