All Sights Affixed, Ablaze from Barrie’s Idol of Fear impresses right from the get-go with “Vanquish.” It lays the foundation for the album with a black metal base. The lead guitars are fantastic. They cut through the heaviness and burrow deep in your head. Screaming and screeching, they are nonetheless nearly permanently imbedded in my brain.
As becomes the case, the percussion pounds and the rhythm guitar/bass crush with death metal might while the vocals terrify with both deep-rooted menace and intelligibility. Weaving through the murk and those leads, twisted and disconcerting melodies squall with dissonance and broken chords.
“It Militates” utilizes a chugging militant plod while “It Tyrannizes” goes for the throat in a more scathing black metal way, but moves back into the chaotic vision on unconventionality the band typifies. As elsewhere, finger-plucked acoustics are also found here yet are obliterated by scorching blackness in short order.
Closer “Carrion” is a (mostly) instrumental piece with lots of melody and emotion exploring sonic soundscapes both among the heaviness and the depths as this one really shows their strengths. As good as the vocals are, they aren’t necessary on “Carrion.” The tremolos and forlorn melodies do all the talking.
The RIYL line cites Shining, Craft and Nachtmystium but I’ve never been too hot on those bands. I am however hot on Idol of Fear. They’re just experimental enough to rise above the generic muck but not so much that the listener needs to struggle to keep hold. All Sights Affixed, Ablaze is an ambitious and exciting debut deserving of far more recognition in the melodic black metal arena (than I’ve seen anyway).
Self-released on November 18, 2014.
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