Monday, 28 October 2013

Written In Torment - Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes

Glorious North Productions 2013
1.Earth Decimated 2.Eternities of Suffering Endured 3.Beast of the Depths
4.Descent into Total Madness 5.O' Fortuna 6.Grief
7.Solitude 8.Behold the Trinity Maimed and Rotten 9.A Pig Hung in Golgotha
10.Necessary Evil
The UK seems to have an abundance on one man extreme metal bands, especially black metal ones and Written In Torment sit quietly in amongst them all, relatively unknown to many. Opener ‘Earth Decimated’ is a varied affair, mixing tempos well from standard black metal machine gun blasting through to slower more morbid passages. What is refreshing to hear is an actual drum kit, as opposed to clinical and over-produced electronic drums. It’s the use of 'actual' drums which probably sets this band apart from many of the other one man bands in the UK, the fact that Leviathan, the man behind the band, is a competent drummer and his skills behind the kit are being put to good use. ‘Eternities Of Suffering Endured’ is an extremely catchy song, the harsh yet melodic guitars really stand out here, being fast tremolo picked with an almost folk element to them, only very slightly however. The majority of the song is played at a fast pace, however, the pace it dropped to allow the haunting and chilling atmospheres being created to really stand out. Keyboards are used sparingly, but when added give the song an extremely unique sound. The song ends in very epic fashion, being almost ballad like as the melodic lead guitars close proceedings. ‘Beast Of The Depths’ is slightly different in delivery, mainly due the drop in pace but to be honest, when the pace is dropped to an absolute minimum and the melodic guitars once again take over, its unbelievably atmospheric and really begins to stir up emotions. ‘Descent Into Total Madness’ blasts open in complete comparison to the ending of the previous track. Furious drums accompany some frantic, harsh yet melodic guitars in typically brutal black metal fashion. However, another aspect to W.I.T that sets him apart from numerous other black metal bands is the use of guitar solos, Leviathan isn’t afraid to use them in extremely melodic fashion and quite frequently which is different, but in a positive way.
‘O’Fortuna’ delves even deeper into the catchy and atmospheric themes heard in earlier tracks, bordering on epic, this is as good as the band has sounded so far. Again, paces are mixed but the song actually works better when the pace is slow and mournful, especially when the morose cleanly sung vocal passages are added. Hate-filled sorrow probably best describes the atmosphere being created. Comparisons were quite hard to draw so far, but as the aptly titled ‘Grief’ opens up, then bands such as Vinterland instantly sprang to mind, mixed with Sacramentum maybe and when such comparisons are mentioned, you know you’re onto a winner. Leviathan does like to end in songs in epic and atmospheric fashion and here is another song which does just that. Instrumental tracks don’t do much to excite me, I’m always left feeling that vocals would have enhanced whatever is on offer and it’s no different with ‘Solitude’ which musically is superb and is absolutely screaming out to have some harsh black metal vocals bellowed out over it. A shame because it’s such a potent track, delivered with absolute conviction and malice but minus the vocal delivery. ‘Behold The Trinity Maimed And Rotten’ sees normal service being resumed. One point to note is the vocal delivery, not the harsh high pitched screams as you might expect but more a growled style used. Quite unusual for the style of music, but they work well and don’t sound at all out of place.  Musically the song jumps from faster blast beat sections to the slower mournful passages and then back to the faster sections which all adds variety and makes for another interesting track. ‘A Pig Hung In Golgotha’ has a real sense of urgency to it, giving off an almost frantic feel when the faster sections blast in. Fans of early Impaled Nazarene would probably really enjoy this track and the same could be said for the opening few riffs of final track ‘Necessary Evil’ which gives off an altogether different feel and sound to everything heard previously. This of course isn’t a bad thing because again, the sense of urgency and frantic nature to the music is openly on display again and makes for a suitably great finish to the album. Leviathan and Written In Torment have a lot to offer on this album and there is a lot to take in when listening to it. The mix of the harsher black metal and slower morose passages makes for an extremely varied and enjoyable listen. He’s quite obviously a very talented individual more than capable of writing and performing some fantastic atmospheric black metal as demonstrated throughout every song on this album and should you be looking to listen to something a bit different from the black metal norm, then Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes offers just that and comes well recommended.
8 out of 10
Band Page: Here
Buy It: Here

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