Emblazoned: The Living Magisterium

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Emblazoned: The Living Magisterium
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Emblazoned: The Living Magisterium
Black Metal, Death Metal
Deepsend Records
September 3rd, 2013
Release length: 14:51
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Emblazoned formed way back in 1999. In 2001, they issued their first and only demo, Nocturnal Arsonist, which was followed by their 2005 début EP, A Ceremony of Hellfire, which was issued through Funeral Vise Records. It’s been about eight years since then, and fans are finally being treated with a long overdue follow-up, another EP titled The Living Magisterium, which is being handled by Deepsend Records. After such a long period of silence, does Emblazoned deliver a solid new effort, or is this nothing more than a reminder of a band that once was and still is somehow kicking?

The Living Magisterium is composed of four brand new songs, and the introductory track “Premonition,” which lasts about a minute and a half. It does, however, establish a grim, isolated atmosphere before the punishing mixture of Black and Death Metal that is “Extinction of Creation” kicks in with some tight, somewhat technical guitar work blast beats before giving way to deeper distortions and an overall sleek audio quality. The mixture of harsher and guttural vocals adds so much to the overall crushing atmosphere and performance as well, especially around the half-way mark when the enthusiasm picks up, hammering away at the listener with richer drumming that refuses to take its foot off your throat.

From here, things do change around a bit. “Bound by Eternal Penance” pushes the crushing tone of the music with some grim atmosphere established by the guitars, especially around the guitar solo when things do thin out for a bit, but just enough to make you incredibly uneasy before hitting you with the faster blunt assault once more. This slower element is resurrected in “Refuge in Darkness,” weaving a melancholic Black Metal environment that the slight sharpness of the guitar distortions pulls off so well, aided by spots of layered raspy and guttural vocals. “In Ex Cathedra,” however, really focuses on the deeper tones of the riffs with a slower, commanding performance at first that feeds you a groove that is impossible not to move your head along to. Things pick up and become a bit chaotic, but that underlying rhythm does creep up from time to time commanding your obedience lyrically and musically, even if it all does end up a bit on the simpler side.

The Living Magisterium is a punishing mixture of atmospheric Black and Death Metal styles that even legends like Behemoth would be in awe of. Once “Extinction of Creation” kicks in, Emblazoned demand your obedience, and even when they have it will still hold your head down and repeatedly curb stomp it. The deeper music, sleek audio quality, and largely grim environments make this EP one hell of a ride from start to finish that never gives you so much as a moment to let your attention slip away. The Living Magisterium definitely makes up for the eight years of silence die-hard fans had to endure. If this is just four songs that came out of that gap of silence, one can only wait with anticipation to hear what else Emblazoned have in store for us all…

01. Premonition – 1:32
02. Extinction of Creation – 3:23
03. Bounce by Eternal Penance – 2:34
04. Refuge in Darkness – 3:36
05. In Ex Cathedra – 3:47
Initial Pressing Score: 9.5/10

Emblazoned
Emblazoned

Digital review copy of this release provided by Deepsend Records via Clawhammer PR.