Glorior Belli - Meet Us At The Southern Sign
Candlelight Records
Black Metal
11 songs (50:36)
Release year: 2009
Official Myspace, Candlelight Records
Reviewed by Charles
Those following developments will be well aware that forward-thinking, edgy and unique black metal has found something of a home in recent years in France; a country that has graduated from being the home of obscure-for-the-sake-of-obscurity LLN bands to fostering innovation by the bucketload, with its most exciting export presumably being Deathspell Omega.

So, the artsy approach of Glorior Belli is entirely in keeping with contemporary national stereotypes. But this is an outlier even so. What sticks out more and more with every listen is the Alice in Chains-like grunge passages that infest In Every Grief-Stricken Blues; a surprisingly fluid melding of slightly dubious, almost Chad Kroeger-like vocals and far more tasteful Rooster-inspired clean verses, with more expected black metal towering.

This is hardly representative of Meet Us At the Southern Sign in its entirety, but it does begin to illuminate the strongly eclectic and melodic inclinations of the band. A more staple element is the whirring, ghostly riffing that is reminiscent of Blut Aus Nord, although less creepily malnourished. As mentioned above, it also welcomes a hefty infusion of melody, as with the hazy opener, Once in a Blood Red Moon, or the recent-Opeth -evoking Fires of the Sitra Ahra. Does this freewheeling approach to influences make it incoherent? Not really. It gives it a breezy openness that you rarely get in black metal.

Highpoints include the slow and ominous There Is But One Light, which clatters hypnotically around a deep and dark blues riff, morphing into a The Work Which Transforms God-like flurry of howling tremolos. The more standard black metal outings like The Forbidden Words are driving and powerful, acting as reliable path from which tangents are located.

Overall, a worthy release which is unusual and experimental without really challenging to any great degree. Regardless of what is going on, it is an accessible album. The flip side to this accessibility is that it isn’t especially deep; despite the eclecticism I don’t feel like I shall be discovering new things here for months to come. It’s very enjoyable, and deserves attention from devotees of experimental black metal.

Killing Songs :
There Is But One Light, Fires Of The Sitra Ahra
Charles quoted 77 / 100
Other albums by Glorior Belli that we have reviewed:
Glorior Belli - Manifesting the Raging Beast reviewed by Alex and quoted 79 / 100
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