Sometimes you come across black metal bands who are either trying to make a parody of the genre, or, simply take themselves so seriously that it comes across as mildly comical. Such is the case with Norwegian band Sons of Balaur, who have a lengthy history that is rather questionable, but if you head on over to their Facebook page, you no doubt will be more than amused by what is a brilliantly concocted story of their early '90s incarnation and time spent at the legendary Oslo record store Helvete, burning churches, being jailed for murder, and worshipping vampires. Wishing to keep their identities in complete secret, they are only going by the names Tomas (vocals, guitar), Markus (bass), Kristoffer (guitar), and Lars (drums), further adding to their aura of mystery. As you look into this even further, what eventually reveals itself is that Sons of Balaur are actually somewhat of a fictional band, and their debut Tenebris Deos is more or less the soundtrack to the Realm Of The Damned graphic novel, which, as you probably have guessed, is a story about an underground Norwegian black metal band who worship vampires, burn churches, commit murder, and hung out with the guys from Mayhem, Emperor, Immortal, Burzum, and Darkthrone back in the early '90s. So, with all that out of the way, can we assume that Tenebris Deos is a complete joke? Hardly. Much like the fictional Dethklok is actually comprised of serious musicians who have crafted some tasty death metal, these four guys have also put out a fairly impressive set of black metal tunes here that push all the right buttons. Relentless blast beats, raging guitar riffs, and hellish vocals permeate every step of the way, with tunes such as "Van Helsing Must Die", "Old Relics", and "The Curse Of Bloodlust" coming across as fine examples of modern black metal with a vintage feel. Fans of Dark Funeral or Watain will no doubt revel in the maniacal sounds of "Athena Bitch Betrayer" and "Nematari The Desert Queen", two violent tunes that see the band firing full speed ahead with plenty of hatred & brutality.
So, whoever Sons of Balaur actually are, they've managed to create a pretty believable black metal album that lives up to the outlandish storyline. Obviously all done in fun, and ultimately a job well done.
3. Old Relics
4. Succubus Slut
5. The Curse Of Bloodlust
6. The Nameless Roams The Earth
7. Van Helsing Must Die
8. Balaur's Rise
9. Athena Bitch Betrayer
10. Nematari The Desert Queen
11. Soldiers Of Darkness (bonus track)
12. Torch This Fucking World (bonus track)