Sound — 9
Glorior Belli, one of the greatest metal acts to ever come out of Paris has a new album out titled "The Great Southern Darkness" and it reaches levels of blackness that can only be reflected by someone forced to live in the drizzly freezing misery of a Parisian winter. This duo does more with their evil sound than any crappy French pop star could ever pull off. Their sound is an interesting combination of Black Metal with Desert Rock type riffs With a sick roaring guitar sound matched by steady low tempo drumming this band has a true doom feel. The growls and the lyrics add a whole new level of disease to Glorior Belli's swampy sound. Yet from this black doom metal base something unique comes unexpected influences making this music into a type of Black Soul Metal and providing a unique listening experience. Glorior Belli's sound is truly unique in that it combines two sounds that I do not believe have ever been put together before. With the southern swamp comes a dismal toneless sound with interesting melodies and the black reaches of Scandinavia give them growls and distortion laden riffs worthy of Draconian. It is fascinating to hear the way that these two influences coming from opposite sides of the world affect the music when they meet up in the Parisian suburbs. The end result is a bizarre yet extremely listenable sound that can only be described as doomy Black Soul Metal. From the first doom ridden chords one can tell that tis album is going to have a rather unique guitar sound. With veins of doom metal and desert rock poured into a mine of black metal. The guitar riffs are often very repetitive creating a bizarre hypnotic effect on the ears. In some cases I am fairly sure loops are being used. The guitars of Glorior Belli are down tuned and detoned to an extreme. This makes the guitars throb and rip at the ear drums adding to the satanic feel of the music. One of the soul issues with this band for me is a lack of solos which makes some songs sound a bit meh. On some of the break between the main riffs you hear long low doomy phrases and under the lead guitar you can hear desert inspired stuff. But a lot of the desert and doom flavors come from the bass as well. The bass has some very solid parts on this record. While on some tracks like "They Call Me Black Devil" use the bass in only a rhythm capacity there are some massive bass riffs in songs like "Dark Gnosis" or "Negative Incarnate". Where the bass riffs makes the song have a whole new desert/doom taste. The drums are very solid and a cut above average black metal drums. Here the drums are varied and feature a lot more than just battered 16ths. Admittedly some tracks feature dull black metal drumming yet on the whole the drums here are a varied and layered treat.
Lyrics — 9
Then we have the vocals, oh the vocals. With a sick growl Glorior Belli's singer domnates the music and brings Belli to an entirely new level of brutal music. The unholy roar at the beginning of "Bring Down The Cosmic Scheme" is possibly the greatest example of Glorior Belli's growls. T exemplifies the dirty and vile vocal stylings found across this album. Some portions of tracks do experiment with spoken lyrics too. A key example of this is the titular track "The Great Southern Darkness". The lyrics are among the greatest this year. With angry and satanic words Glorior Belli expresses all of their hatred with the world.
Overall Impression — 9
To finish Glorior Belli takes black metal to a new height on their new record with amazing riffs and a vast array of influences. My favorite track is probably "Bring Down The Cosmic Scheme" with its huge scream at the beginning. And this album shows Belli is just getting started and that they will take our black metal to new and evil depths. From the aggressive black metal of "They Call Me Black Devil" to the doomy strains of "Horns In My Path" this album is one of the most metal albums that I have heard this year. Go check it out folks. If you like my stuff please check out my blog.