This is one of the more satisfying projects from the blackened end of the spectrum that I’ve heard in a while. Of course, “blackened” implies that there is more on offer than your prototypical black metal release. That is in fact the case with Conspiracy’s Concordat, just as it it is with its predecessor Reincarnated. The work of a lone Ukrainian that resides in The Netherlands and goes by the name Carpanthian Wolf (aka Al’ Hazred of MELECHESH fame), Conspiracy seems most inspired by the world of black metal (both savage and melodic), yet substantive elements are derived from thrash and traditional heavy metal, as well as a bit of folk, making for a superbly well-rounded, well-written, and roundly ass kicking album.

A handful of the tracks fall into more of a traditional black metal category, such as the blast-and-gallop opener “Mentally Ill God” (like several others, one that takes full advantage’s of Wolf’s raspy vocal style, punctuated with deep/growled vocals and tremolo-picked melodies), “Conquerdate (Concordat),” and “Terrorized into Submission.” For as blackened and bellicose as others like “Limited to 666” and “Die in Style” may be, the arrangements go deeper; the former boasting a bad-ass shift on the chorus to mid-tempo groove and the latter injected with thrash (the primary method of delivery) and traditional metal (e.g. the backing-shout chorus and guitar solo section). Wolf then spreads his wings on a majestic/folky track called “Faith” that comes with acoustic guitars, keyboards, and low-register choral vocals, as well as on the Viking metal flavored “Courage,” a slower tune that also utilizes choral vocals and scores big points for its mesmerizing riff cadence that flows underneath the guitar harmony. Album closer “Last Veteran” is a mid-tempo instrumental tune that straddles the line between metal and rock (the beat in particular) and closes the proceedings nicely with a smart melody and rhythm. In a peanut shell, the Wolf is quite the songwriter.

The 43 minutes of Concordat are used wisely, demanding the listener’s complete attention for each of those 2,580 seconds. I suspect the album won’t get nearly the level of notoriety and praise it deserves, which is why I’m calling you out to spread the word. Seriously, check into this conspiratorial work. You won’t be disappointed.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
April 21st, 2009


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