Erimha – Thesis ov Warfare (Victory Records)

Tuesday, 17th November 2015
Rating: 7.5/10

As Victory Records’ most unconventional signing, Montreal black metal horde Erimha have taken it upon themselves to be equally as non-conforming. While the band’s 2013 Reign Through Immortality effort had its flash and dash moments of symphonic splendor, Thesis ov Warfare is a noticeable, calculated, and highly rewarding departure. A textured and deep affair, Thesis ov Warfare stacks the Canucks into fresh exploratory territory, one that is no less caustic, but instead is rife with a sense of adventure and dare we say, rebellion.

With some orchestra aid from Abigail Williams figurehead Ken Sorceron, Thesis ov Warfare shuns many of the over-the-top and fancy-pants elements that so accompany black metal of this style. In light of such changes, Erimha has placed due emphasis on stalwart riff tangents, many of which have ample propulsion, like on “The Process of Reversal,” a song that emerges as an instant black metal gear grinder. The melodic shading that appears on “Fragmented Existence” is equally worth a look, if also for the song’s punishing pace. (Big ups to drummer Ksaso, who turns in quite the performance.) The similarly-focused “The First Law” is topped off by strident guitar lines, while the winding “The Mark of Liberation” is presumably the album’s finest moment – an opulent, pensive number with ace guitars and carefully-placed keyboards.

Lots to work with here, as Erimha has made noticeable, if not significant strides. Curious to see how the band is able to work around the North American black metal mire, along with a subgenre with a strict set of (pointless) rules, the least of which may harbor on the band’s label home. But, Victory has a real diamond in the rough with Erimha, who unlike so many symphonic black metal bands before them, have far more sensibility and potential.

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