A Touch Of Death

Written by: PP on 12/10/2011 04:07:24

My review queue has been hit by a patch of metal releases as of late, so here's another look at a disc in the genre that arrived all too long ago at the headquarters: "A Touch Of Death" by Subliritum, a Norwegian black metal quartet featuring Vyl of Keep Of Kalessin on drums, as well as guest appearances by Thebon (also Keep Of Kalessin) and Sverre Berntsen (Bloodthorn). So by definition, you're in good (or should I say evil?) hands when it comes to black metal, which the label also proudly proclaims in the promo blurb, rating "A Touch Of Death" as the finest black metal produce from them yet.

My thoughts? They may not be far off in their judgment. The album offers a surprisingly fresh and interesting mixture of melodic black metal and the more progressive and epic side of the genre, often throwing in catchy clean shouts to provide contrast for the monstrous shrieking that otherwise dominates the picture. The instrumentals fit nicely underneath the standard black metal umbrella, though the band deserves credit for occasionally uncovering the atmospheric melody-element from underneath the typical shredding and pummeling. However, one is left wishing for more of the latter, because when it works like it does on "No Tomorrow", it positions Subliritum right up there with the world-class bands in the genre. Elsewhere, their whirling tremolo riffs are varied, sure, but they often fail to distinguish enough from others in the genre to impress. It's as if they are constantly treading the fine line between brilliance and mediocrity, not quite able to decide whether they want to go full on the atmospheric (but NOT symphonic way) of some of the best bands in black metal, or to restrict themselves to riff-driven black metal with the occasional injection of melody for good measure.

Either way, Subliritum have produced a fine black metal album that contains glimpses for better than just 'fine'. For now, it's a fairly typical example of the genre in melodic form, easily enjoyable because of a wealth of good riffs and vocal arrangements, but one that will have a hard time penetrating end-of-year lists come December.


Download: No Tomorrow, Indulgence
For the fans of: Satyricon, Emperor,
Listen: Myspace

Release date 15.04.2011
Battlegod Productions

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