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Blackwinds: Flesh Inferno

It's usually pretty much a no-brainer to assume that Regain Records will keep finding solid new black metal for all us extreme lovers out there, and Flesh Inferno by Sweden's Blackwinds is certainly no exception. Taking their cue from bands like Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Marduk, Gorgoroth, Dark Funeral, and Watain, expect a smorgasboard of hellish vocals, piledriver riffs, insane blast beats, and symphonic keyboards all across Flesh Inferno. By all accounts, it seems like this is the work of two members, Lorg Kraath and Lord Mysteriis, who handle all the instrumentation and vocals, but by listening to this you'd swear it was a full band, as the songs are powerful, and exremely well produced with just enough of a raw touch to keep black metal purists happy. Though some tunes, like "Enter the Pandemonium" and the title track for example, are speedy blast beat barnburners, much of what you hear is mid-paced black metal fare, as the band relies more on dramatics and powerful riffs rather than fall into a blazing Dark Funeral/Marduk styled pace. Keyboards are used very well throughout ("Architecture of Phantasmagoria" contains some stunning orchestrations), and mingle nicely with the crushing guitar riffs and energetic rhythms. The vocals are everything you would expect from a band of this ilk, comprised of high pitched shrieking and a lower, mid-range growl, perfectly complementing these dark, dramatic pieces. Though the lyrics are hard to read in the booklet, as you can guess by the song titles this is your expected Satanic black metal fare, with Lucifer himself spewing out the evil on tracks like "Quintessence of Hell" and "Conceptualizing the Devil"...well, OK, that's Lorg Kraath, but who cares, it's effective and gets the point across.

This is deliciously sinister stuff all around, and another winner for the Regain Records roster. If black metal is your thing, and you like a mix of the raw/primal style with the more symphonic edge, then definitely check this one out.


Track Listing
1. Before Time
2. Enter the Pandemonium
3. Architecture of Phantasmagoria
4. Flesh Inferno
5. Plague Bringer
6. Seraphim Ephemeral
7. Inquisition
8. Crimson Thirst
9. Conceptualizing the Devil
10. Quintessence of Hell

Added: December 4th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Regain Records
Hits: 1636
Language: english

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Blackwinds: Flesh Inferno
Posted by Ryan Sparks, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-12-04 09:08:29
My Score:

Sweden's Blackwinds have been on the black metal circuit for ten years and yet strangely enough until this year, their only other release was an EP entitled The Black Wraiths Ascend in 1999. Whatever the reasons for the long delay, 2008 finds the band (which actually consists of two members at present) making up for a bit of lost time as they've re-issued said EP, which features added bonus tracks, as well as finally delivering their full length debut Flesh Inferno.

So what exactly does Blackwinds offer the typical black metal connoisseur? Let's start with the most important factor, the songs themselves. Opening track "Before Time" kicks things off with an impressive amount of filth and aggression, also incorporating some atmospheric keyboard passages to eventually bring the track to a close. They continue to balance their scathing, brutal attack with more symphonic sounding keyboard flourishes on the next two tracks "Enter The Pandemonium" and "Architecture of Phantasmaghoria". Both of these tracks feature plenty of the requisite fast, tremolo picked riffs and savage blast beats, but the breakdown sections and varying tempos keep things interesting as well. Unfortunately any momentum gained is lost on the next two tracks and things begin to go down hill quite quickly after that. The rest of Flesh Inferno finds the band sticking to the same formula on each song, so much so that the listener is able to almost predict when the slower passages or tempo changes will kick in before they actually happen. It's almost as if after such a promising start the band decided to suddenly shift on the auto-pilot and just go through the motions for the rest of the album, which is disappointing because certain portions of Flesh Inferno show a good deal of promise. As far as the production goes the sound of the drums just falls flat, and the overall mix on Flesh Inferno, although pretty decent as far as clarity is concerned, just has no regard whatsoever for the bottom end.

In the end Flesh Inferno fails large in part due to its inability to not only keep the listener engaged, but also because it ultimately doesn't offer anything that hasn't been done hundreds of times before, and more importantly done a hell of a lot better.



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