Weapon – Drakonian Paradigm (Ajna Offensive)Sunday, 17th March 2013
If anything, true black metal has gone away from its original function. One has to find it disconcerting that any Johnny Hardcore come-lately can lay some keyboard swaths over a beatdown and call it “black metal.” Quorthon probably hacks up voluminous clouds of dirt when this abomination (read: Bleeding Through, Winds of Plague and friends) continues to rack upcommercial points. At least the “troo” scene police has kept these bands down.
We referenced the true preface of black metal because Ottawa’s Weapon reside within those bounds. Devoid of the trickery and pomp that consists of so-called modern-day BM, Weapon opts from a more primitive and primal approach. Yeah, it’s loose and rackety like Venom, but the message behind the music is clear: this is music dedicated to the black arts. Everything else is trivial.
Weapon’s riff-based approach often throws itself at the mercy of post The Return Bathory, albeit with more muscular and brutal riffing that comes to the fore on the excellent “Serpentine Ayat.” Here, an organic approach to sonics reaps rewards as a cavalcade of smart, snappy arrangements take hold over what surely is the album’s anchor. And to their credit, Weapon doesn’t get lost a haze of chants or cheesy spoken-word sections; there is simply the updated version of Venom, but with real meaning behind it.
Pure black metal is a lost cause these days, although the likes of Weapon, Secrets of the Moon, and Devil’s Blood are merely a small slice of bands that uphold the style’s early standards. As for Drakonian Paradigm, it’s far from perfect, maybe a tad too rough around the edges, but methinks no one was saying that when Welcome to Hell started to make the rounds.
(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)