The Belonging
An Immortal Creation

I’ve followed the UK’s The Belonging for a while now, from their slightly forgetful 2005 debut, Setting the Scene, to 2009’s Ashes of a Fallen Throne, where the band took an improved step into impressive blackened war metal. And now, in 2011, with their third follow up, we’ve got yet another quality self-released album.

Continuing their take on melodic blackened war metal, The Belonging  are similar though not as blistering or death metal tinged as country mates Spearhead, but they are still fighting on the same battlefield. Searing riffs, rasped vocals and a overall sense of violent yet epic atmospheres that only could be linked with war are cemented by titles like “Militant”, “Fearful Bloody Lesson in Slaughter” and “Hymn of Agincourt”.

Opener “Archangel” sets the tone for the album quite nicely with stern, militaristic blasts and shrill, rousing riffs with a steely march to drive on the machines of slaughter. “Militant” has a Middle Eastern undercurrent and lyrical theme, slowing things down a bit before “Slave” increases the vitriol again with an impressive 6+ minute foray that includes some surprising, but tasteful clean vocals. Admittedly the album then becomes a bit recycled, if still rousing (notably “A Fearful, Bloody Lesson In Slaughter” and its Henry the VIII sample), but for me, the band takes back off again with the stern “Hymn of Agincourt (one of many beat downs England gave France  in the the Middle Ages), where the band use a traditional account of the battle for lyrics.

The 8 minute title track rounds things out nicely (with a cool little acoustic fade out), but as it ends a quality album, it still nags at me that the band hasn’t quite peaked yet or delivered something special. None the less, it’s good to see this kind of metal come out of the UK on a consistent basis — and especially metal that looks to the UK’s storied  and bloody history. A perfect match, no?




[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 29th, 2011


  1. Commented by: denial

    melodic blackened war metal? genre doesnt exist.minus the melodic and it would.the endless making up of non existant genres on this site is sad.

  2. Commented by: Apollyon

    I agree that it’s kind of a long one, but I’d say you’re thinking too much about it [genres].

    I doubt Thomas is trying to cement such a genre into stone or daily use here. Instead it’s a quick way to throw in the basic elements that make up the music — especially today, when bands seem to cross their boundaries more often than not and simply calling it black/death/doom/thrash/heavy [metal] wouldn’t necessarily cut it either.

    Granted, one could have used “melodic take on blackened war metal” instead of wording it like it was in the review, but in the end, in this case, it would have basically been the same thing.

    Besides, ‘blackened war meta1’ is kind of a niché in the first place. Why can’t it be just war metal? And how are war and battle metal different? War is more fierce? It’s all subjective, anyway. At the end of the day, adding melodic to the front isn’t that big of a deal and debating what is or isn’t black metal is kind of getting old too when you’ve got n+1 views (ie. Venom: yay or nay?) — but that’s just me.

    But seriously speaking, worry not as the feedback has been noted and we’ll keep it mind at our bi-weekly genre creation phone conferences.

  3. Commented by: shadow viper

    thanks for the description E. Thomas as soon as u said Melodic Blackened war metal it got me interested real quick, cause a similar band me thinks would be Razor of Occam. Either way that was a good description of the sound and gave me a good idea of what they sound like. Will definitely check them out!

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