Weapon: From the Devil’s Tomb

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Weapon: From the Devil’s Tomb
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Weapon: From the Devil's Tomb
Black Metal, Death Metal
The AJNA Offensive
November 23rd, 2010
Release length: 54:20
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Weapon is a Satanic Black and Death Metal band that originally formed in Calgary, but now resides in Edmonton, Alberta. The band issued two EPs in the past on two different labels, but since their debut full-length in 2009, the band has been signed with The Ajna Offensive. This underground band has been receiving some rather high accolades for their mixture of Black and Death Metal, as well as the somewhat cultural influence in the music, ringing true of the bands time in Bangladesh prior to vocalist Vetis Monarch moving back to Canada. Luckily, the move didn’t really impact the music that negatively, as From the Devil’s Tomb is a strong mixture of both Black and Death Metal styles, creating a solid full-length with plenty of well composed tracks.

At first glance, From the Devil’s Tomb will just sound like your everyday run-of-the-mill Blackened Death Metal projects, with the only difference being the geographical roots whcih are taken into consideration when the music was composed. And, for the most part, that’s about what you get. From the Devil’s Tomb isn’t the most groundbreaking album available in either style, however the music being played is well done, and does rely on a very vast and empty atmosphere for the album to get it’s dark point across, which it does well. The music is often about a mid-tempo pace, though sometimes it feels like it’s going faster due to the often blisteringly fast double bass kicks. The vocals are a traditional lower, somewhat more gutteral approach, though they come off more as an exhausted exhale sometimes, perhaps the feed into the overall dark atmosphere that way by coming off more haunting or ghostly then simply gutteral and evil. Either way, the vocal approach often comes off as a bit monotone, but it works well for the recording, and offers one more thing to manage to keep this band away from comparisons of Nile.

Of course, when the music isn’t hammering away with blast beats, it often has some technical guitar work that suits the faster paced drums, all of us which give off that Middle Eastern-like atmosphere. Weapon manages to take both genres and take the more generic qualities out, making both flow seemlessly throughout the out, and really causing it to just come out as a non-stop intense ride, almost as if meant to have an underlying melody or Groove aspect to the music, especially during the chorus of the openner “From the Devil’s Tomb”. This song is fantastic thanks to it’s strong cultural sounds and varied changes in the music, leaving it thrive instead of suffer from repetition. The track is a little over seven minutes, and the more time you spen dwith it, the more you’ll wind up loving it and the band’s performance, which features vocals paced nicely against the drumming, though the guitars and drums will often pick up and hammer away against faster-performed vocals. But, for the most part, that’s about all this album has going for it.

While the strong cultural impact on the music is a good thing, as well as everything else the positively outlines this album, all of which strengthens, as well as enhances tracks like the slower “Vortex 11724”, it all starts to run together. The music on From the Devil’s Tomb is great and is very enjoyable, and would be far more enjoyable if it weren’t for some of the repetition this release suffers from, and that repetition seems to come from the band hammering away into a blast beat session again certain parts of the vocalist’s performance. These moments appear on many tracks, but will be easily spotted on “Furor Divinus” and “Vortex 11724”, leading to the tracks sounding rather similar to one another as far as the structuring goes. But, really, that’s about all the repetition has to go on with the album. From the Devil’s Tomb does remain consistant throughout the album, both in atmosphere and the music itself, and comes off as a very professional release. Of course, being professional isn’t always the most important thing to the album, but there’s some material on this release that just feels like there’s some extra energy, as well as effort, involved, and really makes the material stand out.

“The Inner Wolf” is by far one of the best tracks from this release. It features some fast paced material that comes at the listener hard, as well as has some keyboard effects in the background during the slower moments to reflect harmonized singing in the same haunting vein that the vocals often have. This track also just has a vocal approach that is not haunting, but angry and evil, matching the furious feel of the music. The changes in this track, and the added effort in the material, and performance of the song, make the eight minute track length seem to fly by. Aside that, “Vortex 11724” may sound a bit repetitive, but it’s slower nature gives off a more ritualistic feel to the music, which is a welcome addition to the album given it’s Satanic lyrical premise, and the more ancient feel to the geographical input to the music. “Towards the Uncreated” is another good song, and focuses really on creating a dismal atmosphere, though it does wind up lacking energy from the band, and the keyboards used can get a little annoying as you progress through the song as it’s really just the same notes held for an extended period of time around the half-way mark.

From the Devil’s Tomb is far from being a bad album, but it’s also not one of the most impressive Black and/or Death Metal releases you’ll come across. Upon listening to it, you’ll hear plenty of similarities to acts such as Nile and Melechesh, except having more of a Satanic focus then anything, but when the band puts some real energy into their music, as well as a little extra effort in the song writing to make the fluid, consistant music expand a little more then where it’s at, the material really shines through and stands on it’s own. If you haven’t heard Weapon yet, then From the Devil’s Tomb makes for a great jump-on point and, while it’s not the most fantastic release out there, it’s still a hard hitting album with solid material that you’ll come back to again and again.

01. From the Devil’s Tomb – 7:11
02. Vested in Surplice, and Violet Stole – 5:42
03. Furor Divinus – 3:49
04. Vortex – 11724 – 5:59
05. LEFTHANDPATHYOGA – 3:22
06. The Inner Wolf – 7:58
07. Sardonyx – 6:00
08. Trishul – 7:02
09. Towards the Uncreated – 7:15
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Weapon (Band)
Digital review copy of this release provided by The AJNA Offensive.