Saturday, 1 August 2015

Reverie - Bliss (2015) / 80%

Give me the peace and joy in your mind

Here's the debut album of Denmark's Reverie, “Bliss” is a particularly emotive work of blackened death metal and it's full of subtleties. The nearest comparaison i could make is with Tribulation's second coming. Take their excellent “The Formulas of Death”, streamline the album (it was frankly too long), remove some of the experimentation and you're not too far from Reverie is doing.

They could be affiliated to the current occult European scene, a scene transcending genres (think of Watain, The Devil's Blood or In Solitude). These bands from different backgrounds all share an identity in both music and visual art. I was in fact reminded of a drawing in In Solitude's latest (and final!) album “Sister” booklet when I got Reverie's album in my inbox (check it out here). Reverie doesn't quite sound like these bands, of course but there's some melodies that gave me a sense of familiarity. It's dark, occult but at the same time, full of class and maturity (astonishing for a band in their early 20s).

From the album name to their visual art approach, every facets of the band has this romantic and distinguished aspect. This is still extreme metal but we're pretty damn far from the bestial/war metal scene, the quartet had this calm demeanor approach in mind when they made “Bliss” and they succeeded at crafting an album that's sonically interesting and doesn't need to extend its compositions in an obscene manner. They kept things brief with a nine songs/thirty-five minutes release that leave you asking for more. They're fast paced with melodic yet sophisticated guitar riffs. There's only one guitarist but he's quite busy, unleashing riff after riff and decorating the whole thing with well placed leads (see “Fall Apart”) but they're far from being the main focus. The musicianship is interesting, blending massive vintage death metal with a melodic black edge and even a semi-dissonant persona from time to time, a song like the five minutes “Circles” is demonstrating all the appeal of their style in an epic manner. The drums are vividly rapid and are quite apt at including little enjoyable details like the western influenced start of “From Sea to Shore”. The vocals are harsh but well enunciated and they're a great fit to the music, they have this timeless feel and I could see them work in many different eras of death metal. They're abrasive but not overly so and they're quite accessible. 

The ethereal and classy side of the band is demonstrated through some moments like the title track interlude composed of flutes and acoustic guitars or the epilogue of the last track “Blind At Heart”, it's not exactly fully natural yet and it needs some refinement but it gives the band an interesting personality. The talent is there so I'm not afraid such thing will happen for their next album. Scandinavians are often apt at diversifying the extreme metal genre and adding a lot of delicacy and nuances to it, bands like Dawn, Opeth or Edge of Sanity did exactly that and Reverie are walking the path of these pioneers. They have yet to reach the level of quality of Tribulation but things are looking good for their future.

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