Some weeks ago, I had the amazing idea to promote local Finnish bands by starting a playlist on Spotify, promoting the newest singles those bands have released. An immediate response came from all corners of Finland and one of those bands reaching out to me with their music was Black Royal. Since their album “Lightbringer” was quite recently released, I told them I’d be interested in writing a review. Truth be told, I didn’t spend much time listening to their music, I just added their single to the playlist and that was that (Yes, I admit it. I got lazy. I’m not the best composer when it comes to playlists). A little while later I got a package with their debut album “Lightbringer.” Yesterday, I wrote another review about a death metal band, where I mentioned how vibrant the local Finnish metal scene nowadays is. Let’s get back to that and specify. Holy hell, what great death metal bands are out there nowadays! But let me talk a bit more again about this album.
Black Royal, a sludge extreme metal band from, yes… Tampere in Finland, with “Lightbringer” definitely managed to attract new audience. Even though the name of the album is quite ironic, because why would anyone ever associate the extremity and aggression of death metal with light – although I do get the point, because this album did manage to bring light to my day by pleasantly surprising me. “Cryo-Volcanic”… hold your breathe now for a lame-ass pun… Is ultimately deadly explosive! Together with “Pentagram Doctrine” they show classic death metal to us, but if you think that that is the only side to this album, then you are quite mistaken. “Self Worship” is groovy, indoctrinated with doom metal, but addressed with the same aggression of its predecessors. This track sheds light to the diversity on this album. This versatility is one of the highlights on this album, I always just simply love it when it becomes harder and harder to put a band in a genre-box. The slow tempo reminds me a bit of Black Sabbath’s self-titled classic, so it simply goes back to the traditional roots of heavy metal.
And what an album. It continues down the same line for its entirety. Strong tracks, groovy rhythms, outstanding and accentuated bass (especially in the mix, this album certainly doesn’t lack of it) and heavy-ass riffs. Highlights in this album are for me the title track and “The Chosen.”
2018, you have been here only for 4 months, but you already gave us a lot of tremendously amazing albums that I have been waiting for for a while. When it comes to the local Finnish scene, this is certainly a strong addition to it. So by all means, if you haven’t done it yet, go check out this album.
- PENTAGRAM DOCTRINE
- THE CHOSEN
- DYING STAR
- NEW WORLD ORDER
Jukka – drums, percussion
Pete – bass, backing vocals, acoustic guitar
Riku – vocals
Toni – guitars, backing vocals