Glorior Belli – Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls (Agonia Records)

Sunday, 27th October 2013
Rating: 7/10

In a time when the world of metal has never before been more stretched, expanded upon, innovated, and genre-bent, it seems a bit daunting to try to pick a new direction for your band in order to carve your own path.  Just keeping within the confines of the rock and metal genres yields an abundance of crossover genres and hybrid sounds across the metalsphere.  Glorior Belli is a band who emerged from the modern French black metal scene, alongside such formidable bands such as Blut Aus Nord, Deathspell Omega, and Alcest – each with their own distinct sound.  Starting with the release of their 2011 album, The Great Southern Darkness, Glorior Belli showed world their direction – a black metal infusion with American Southern-fried metal (as well as a penchant for bad album titles).

If the Louisiana supergroup Down leaves you itching for more, but perhaps with a little more bite to it, then maybe Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls will scratch your itch.  Otherwise, I don’t really see the point.  Safe but tired blues-based metal riffs are the main course here and these grooves are punctuated with bursts and elements of GB’s black metal roots (the vocals by-and-large remain in the black metal camp).  My first thought was Pepper Keenan era Corrosion of Conformity meets Vreid, but not nearly as good as either of them.  Yeah, the musicians are up to snuff and the record sounds okay, but it feels rehashed and is, well, rather boring.  Production-wise, the album could have benefitted from a bit more heft to it a la Lamb of God or another beefy sounding mainstream American metal band.

Not necessarily a bad record, but certainly not a memorable one, either.  There are some decent riffs throughout this album of silly song titles and low-impact blackened Cajun metal.   It feels a bit strange trying to buy in to this distinctly American sound coming from these Parisians, but they sound convincing enough.  When maybe the best song (the title track) is also the last song, it feels like an exercise rather than an experience.

Glorior Belli official site