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Glorior Belli - 'The Great Southern Darkness' (metal blade) 4.5/5

I don't often get much music of French origin troubling my inbox, but when it does it tends to be something worth taking note of. So in the wake of goth outfit Modern Funeral Art and proggers Delusioned Squared (both of whom were album of the year contenders in recent years) I give you this, the fourth full length studio release from Paris based death metal outfit Glorior Belli.

And what an album this is. Right from the opening bars of the first number, Dark Gnosis, it is clear that we are listening to something a wee bit special. the vocals growl and roar like a legion of demons, guitars thrash and churn like satanic dervishes whilst the rhythm section hammer home a Danse Macabre that would blast the very fallen angels out of the deepest pits of hell and into the moshpit. It's as heavy as the gates of Dis, as dark as Beelzebub's own ring piece and and as intense as tripping on mushrooms whilst base jumping off the Eiffel Tower in the mother of all thunderstorms.

Track like Negative Incarnate, Bring Down The Cosmic Scheme and Chaos Manifested, scream out of the speakers and batter you into submission with wave after wave of skull smashing fury. So it continues for the first five tracks, until we reach the mid point of the album and the title cut, a slow and menacing satanic worship tune that lets us gather breath for a few minutes, before the grinding heaviness returns to batter the listener into a bloody but happy pulp just in time for epic and glorious closing number Horns In My Path.

Over all I'm reminded somewhat of classic Filipino death grind outfit Kratornas, and as I'm a huge fan of Cebu's finest export I mean that only in terms of highest praise.

Basically this album is epic in scope, has lyrics like a Dennis Wheatley novel and is packed with dark brutality. What more do you want from a black / death metal album? It's just great.

for fans of... Kratornas, Fleshcrawl, Kronos, October Tide... etc

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