Bliss of Flesh
Beati Pauperes Spiritu

France’s Bliss of Flesh are a new act to me, so this, their second album, is my first exposure to the bands style of Black/death metal, but I am very impressed with Beati Pauperes Spiritu, so much so it actually stole a lot of the thunder and attention from Necrophobic‘s Womb of Lilitu.

I can compare these guys to country mates Svart Crown and their Profane release from earlier in 2013 as it mingles big, burly militant riffs and deeper death metal vocals with a slightly frosty touch and a tangible black undercurrent. And while not quite as intense or punishing, and with a few more tangents (clean croons, a few gothic-y/doom elements)  it has plenty, and I mean plenty of killer riffs to make it a very entertaining album.

Opening duo of “Black Procession”  and “Amen” pretty much sum up the band’s sound before an early, familiar Emperor-ish chord progression of “Disciple” brings more of a direct black metal pacing, even with the beefier guitar tone. Then things go a bit pear shaped. “On the Path of Expiation” is a mid album stumble that features some of the gothic/doom stylings splashed in with the black/death I mentioned earlier including an out of place cello section and some female vocals, which is a shame as it derails some otherwise rousing riffage. The you get “Forgotten Epitaphs”, an eight minute number that starts with violins before exploding into some promising black metal blasting, but that tease is short lived as it morphs into a weird vampyric wails (think Moonspell) and off kilter cello segue that quite disconcerting. Luckily spurts of black/death majesty don’t make the track a total loss as its saved by a furious climax, but it’s close.

“Rosary of Shame” delivers stern rumbling death metal menace before actually doing an atmospheric/vocal shift correctly and more impressively, that bridges into a nice black metal blast. “Possessed” and closer “Pariah” up the intensity again with similar black/death melding, particularity “Pariah” which has a very solid melodic blast  and melancholic come down to end the album on a pretty high note.

Beati Pauperes Spiritu is certainly no world beater or year end candidate, but it has enough fine riffs and black/death crossover to make the band a respectable entry into France’s metallic exports.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
February 6th, 2014

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