Saturday, 12 August 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Cult of Erinyes - ‘Tiberivs’

By: Daniel Jackson

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 17/05/2017
Label: Code666 Records

In short, ‘Tiberivs’ is fully realized and wonderfully executed. Any black metal fans sleeping on this album are doing themselves a real disservice.

‘Tiberivs’ CD//LP//DD track listing:

1. Archaea, 41 B.C.
2. Nero (Divine Providence)
3. Casvs Belli
4. Bred For War
5. Loner
6. Germanicvs
7. First of Men
8. Damnatio Memoriae
9. For Centuries To Come

The Review:

When one sees the phrase “atmospheric black metal”, more often than not you’re going to think of guitars drenched in reverb, delay, or both. You might think of melancholy chords and sweeping tremolo leads. To be more specific, you’re probably thinking of something along the lines of early Alcest or Wolves in The Throne Room. With ‘Tiberivs’, Cult of Erinyes do their best to widen that definition to include a bleaker darkness.

After “Archaea, 41 B.C.” sets the proper tone for what follows, “Nero” begins with the album’s first true song. Here, the atmosphere is born of deep, dense, and droning guitar work, as opposed to reverb saturation or sorrowful melodies. The result is an expansive listening experience, complete with peaks and valleys, as the band masterfully walks the line between giving their riffs time to sink in, and becoming repetitive.

With all of the bellowing going on from Corvus’ rhythm guitar and bass work, Baron’s efforts on lead guitar do a tremendous job of cutting through the murk. There is some jaw dropping soloing going on here, not to mention how often it serves to bring longer passages to an ascendant climax. If the album has any consistent compositional theme, it’s that; paying off the building of atmospheric tension with lightning rod guitar solos.

Another aspect of ‘Tiberivs’ that makes it so successful is drummer Déhà’s smart choices when it comes to beat selection. “Casvs Belli” might be the best song to highlight this point. The main opening riff itself is content to entrance the listener, but Déhà’s continuous building upon his basic original beat does all of the heavy lifting for building the song’s initial crescendo.

All of this translates into an album that creates an evocative world, both beset with bleak atmosphere and alive with life. Cult of Erinyes aren’t reinventing the wheel, but they are presenting the wheel in a fresh and interesting way. They strike a nice balance between genre orthodoxy and unique compositional choices, as well as building mood and atmosphere without using those attributes to cover up a lack of songwriting ability. In short, ‘Tiberivs’ is fully realized and wonderfully executed. Any black metal fans sleeping on this album are doing themselves a real disservice.

Tiberivs’ is available digitally here and CD here.

Band info: Facebook

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