Embers and Revelations

Relapse Records has been in resurgent form over the last couple of years, revitalizing their roster and boosting their legendary track record and proven ability in providing exposure that some of the lesser known bands deserve.   Canada’s Weapon is another fine addition to the label’s large, esteemed staple.   Plucked from the grimy underground, Weapon applies a no-frills formula with just enough tricks up their sleeve and top-notch riffs to deliver a fresh and uncompromising brand of blackened death metal.

Weapon has previously released a couple of ep’s and full-lengths before being signed by Relapse for the release of their third album, Embers and Revelations.  Having no prior listening experience with Weapon’s back catalog, a point of comparison is lost, but by all accounts this latest album takes a smoother sonic route from previous recordings, stepping up the production values and favoring a cleaner, crisper sound.  This will likely piss off the purists, particularly those more attracted to their blackened roots, but the extra crunch and clarity does provide a solid counter punch to the visceral, savage attack.   The guitars have a sharp, buzzing tone and the drums sound huge.  The bass drums are particularly pummeling, with the snare and cymbals offering a crisp and snappy contrast.  Perhaps a rawer, looser production would give Embers and Revelations an uglier, meaner aesthetic, but on the flipside the more polished sound gives the material depth and punch without sacrificing heaviness.

The whole destructive package clocks-in at an economical 37-minutes.  The jam-packed content crammed within the concise time frame is a fast and furious whirlwind of tightly wound, mildly technical blackened riffs, a relentless barrage of blast beats, and vocals that take cues from both black and death metal.  The smattering of middle-eastern influences traces back to the band members roots, while the foreboding atmosphere gives the album real character.Weapon generally rely on relentless speed and jackhammer drumming to execute their aggressively manic style of blackened death. But they throw plenty of curve balls into the mix as well, such as the unpredictable leads that inject melody into the equation, seemingly coming out of nowhere and teetering on the verge of the chaotic.  Sinister grooves and dialed-back tempos pop-up sporadically,ensuring the songs don’t bleed into each other and become too one-dimensional in their delivery.  And the melodic strains sit comfortably within the otherwise brutal frameworks.  Vocalist/guitarist and band mastermind Vetis Monarch bookends the tight musicianship with his evil-sounding, raspy growl.

Weapon waste no time getting down to business and setting the tone for the rest of the album, bursting out of the gate with the punishing one-two punch of opening tunes “The First Witnesses of Lucifer” and the devastating “Vanguard of the Morning Star”, The former begins with an eerie, atmospheric intro that morphs into a killer mid-paced groove before jacking up the speed factor and featuring some spiraling guitar work and a frantic climax.  The latter is a ferociously knotty blast-fest interspersed with clever tempo variations, and it’s a great showcase of the speed and precision of The Disciple’s excellent drumming.  The title track is another briskly paced, visceral attack of blazing riffs and machine-gun blast beats.  It features an effective fast-slow dynamic during the earlier phases, before unfolding into some lurching double-bass grooves and compelling lead work. There really aren’t any weak tracks here; the quality is steady across the board and the boundless energy and aggression ramps up the intensity of the recording.

The violent, straight-forward impact of Weapon’s delivery is a healthy reminder of why we became enamored with the more extreme forms of musical expression in the first place.  Embers and Revelations isa high quality album that should appeal to a broad metal audience, and for the first-time listener it’s a strong endorsement to delve into their back catalog.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
October 31st, 2012


  1. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

    Like all Weapon material to date, this simply KILLS.

    I’m not sure why so many reviews are making a somewhat big deal about the production, because the sound on the previous full length, “From the Devil’s Tomb” was also super clear. The debut album had pretty clear productionas well…. but I think this one improves on it because the drums do indeed sound powerful. On “…Devil’s Tomb”, they sounded waaay too clicky and weak. Glad that they are returned to their proper glory.

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