Erebus Enthroned – Temple Under Hell (Séance Records)

Sunday, 27th April 2014
Rating: 7/10

An Australian entity positioning themselves as ones with the traditional old Norwegian guard, Erebus Enthroned have been jostling about the BM underground since 2006, with only a pair of full-lengths to their name, the second being Temple Under Hell. Given the boost in the aesthetic department thanks to artwork from Denis Forkas Kostromitin (he did Behemoth’s The Satanist), you’d be tempted to read the tea leaves and think this collection would make a run for the oblique strains of unconventional BM, but, it stays a bit too comfortably between the lines for a major impact.

The basic helpings of primal black metal are in regular use: Productive use of tremolo picking with dissonant chord pairings, blast-beats a-gonzo, and vocals that are pretty unremarkable. They’re just around to add to bite, apparently. And so goes the run of these seven cuts, some of which overstay their welcome (“Return”), while a select few are able to strike upon the memorable iron, like “Crucible of Vitriol,” which has a sort of Enthroned-on-Marduk bite, just without the kamikaze element. Closer “Void Wind,” though, ends up being the album’s most diabolical number, guided by the imposing blasts-beats of drummer M (they use single letters for their names) and the blistering, Dark Funeral-like riff mash-ups.

Well-executed and furnished with all the elements a band would need for an everyman circa 2014 black metal album, Erebus Enthroned may have difficulty creating separation from their peers based. Temple Under Hell is an all-encompassing listen; sure, yet without those unique little twists and turns the band’s contemporaries are so innate at busting out, these Aussies may find themselves with a steeper climb than they would hope.

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