Welicoruss
Siberian Heathen Horde

Do you crave Dimmu Borgir’s last few albums? Especially craving 2010s Abrahadabra, and notably the single “Gateways”? Want fur, frosty armored outfits and face paint? Want some really good symphonic, bombastic black metal? Check out Russia’s veteran act Welicoruss.

Apparently one of Russia’s more respected and biggest symphonic black metal acts, these guys have certainly carved a niche in Dimmu worship, and make no bones about it on album number 4 (they even have the the three word album titles).  A big, bombastic, theatrical, brass heavy sound (minus the 100 piece real orchestra no less) , with a massive production and strong song writing fills this 9 song album that you will love or hate depending on your feelings for Dimmu Borgir

Personally, I’m digging the shit out of it, as despite the clear mimicry, the songs  stand out on the merits of their own compositions,  as well as a little bit of innate Russian folky charm and tone. Founder AlexeyWelicoRussBoganov, who started the project as a one man band, knows what sound he  is going for and goes all in. All 9 songs deliver enjoyable, dramatic overtures of symphonic black metal.

Just listen to the likes of opener “Spellcaster”, the title track, “Frostbounded”, blistering “Metaphysical” or “The Prophecy”,   (where I got the “Gateways” vibe”) and tell me that isn’t up there on par with their chosen peers, because it is. I daresay, some Dimmu detractors might even say that some of this material is better than some of Dimmu’s recent offerings, even with some quirky clean croons that aren’t quite perfect (i.e “Tree of Nations”, the album’s weakest cut).

Album closer “Hymn of Lost Souls” teases a slower more somber, choral track  to end the album,  but explodes into the albums fastest, most vicious track, ending things on a high note from an outfit Ill definitely be following closely from now on.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 31st, 2020

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