Meridian - The Seventh Sun
Season Of Mist
Black Metal
9 songs (42'37)
Release year: 2002
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Crims
Surprise of the month

Here is a new band (at least to me) from Switzerland called Meridian. Meridian is made up of Paris (vocals), Drakon (guitars), M.T. Random (drums), Arwan (keyboards), and from Morgul, Jack D Ripper (vocals). What we have here is a style of Black Metal that blurs the line between raw and accessible, which is a good start in my books.

Immediately one can point to older Enslaved and Emperor as the main influences of Meridian and this is very evident throughout. The difference is: where both of those bands give off an atmosphere of medieval, primitive, and nihilistic themes with their dark and dank sound, Meridian sound almost futuristic. This isn’t a spacey feel I’m referring to, but rather the feel of a futuristic apocalyptic reign. It may be hard to get an idea from that description, but it’s the best I could come up with, hehe. The reason why they sound like this is because of their keyboard usage. They don’t really use melodic synth like older Emperor did, or gothic, circus sounding synth like Dimmu Borgir, but rather atmospheric synth that gives off the aforementioned feel I eluded too. Meridian also uses very short-lived drum samples (those of you who know of the band Diablerie will know what I’m talking about). They aren’t really going techno here because the samples never last long; however, I do find them very interesting, almost because it’s such a odd thing to do, yet it manages to still fit. I suppose that references to The Kovenant in the keyboard department can be made to a certain extent, but only very slightly, because The Kovenant was very upfront with their keys with everything else as an after thought, this is NOT the case with Meridian as the guitars and drums come first. Speaking of which, Meridian use the same, almost offbeat riffs that Enslaved used on Blodhemn as well. They tend to be brutal, yet strangely melodic at times, and the drums are a mixture of blast beats and a lot of double bass; this combination lends itself for a lot of great double bass runs that a pure neck breakers, especially on Immortal Ancestry.

Vocally, Paris and Jack D Ripper use a well done, but typical Black Metal screech, however, they also tend to use a vocal effect similar to what Shagrath from Dimmu Borgir used on their last release. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of this vocal effect, but Meridian makes better use of it than Dimmu Borgir did. The best vocal lines come when the vocals are doubled and then you get a really strong effect; I really like it when bands like this do that, and Meridian make great use of it. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the lyrics of The Seventh Sun, but judging from the titles of the songs, I would imagine they are rather unique compared to typical Black Metal. Sol Septem Meridian is one of the more interesting tracks on The Seventh Sun thanks to vocals that sound a lot like the clean vocals on Focus from Cynic. The song goes between electronic sections, and Black Metal sections. It isn’t overly successful, but the track is interesting I must admit. Other stand out tracks include Deep Waters and Dream To The Sun, both of which have strong and aggressive guitar/double bass runs, solid vocals, and interesting synth.

Meridian is quite successful with their post-Black Metal release. The production isn't clean, but not totally raw either, so most hardcore Black Metal heads will probably dismiss this band immediately. But for you Metal heads who do like Black Metal such as Immortal, Enslaved, Emperor, and Naglfar, I would venture to say that you would enjoy Meridian, as they offer a unique feel based from Black Metal produced by those bands. My only real complaint is the fact they sometimes sound too much like Enslaved and Emperor in the guitar department, and there are some moments that don’t hold the listeners attention like they should. When all is said and done though, this is a very promising release from Meridian and I look forward to hearing what they come up with next!

Killing Songs :
Fortune, Immortal Ancestry, Deep Waters, Dream Of The Sun, A Time For War, Absolute Research
Crims quoted 85 / 100
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