For many years, I had seen this band advertised on this website: to my everlasting shame, I didn't give them a listen, thinking they were just another sound-alike extreme metal band. Then one day, I heard a little tune called "Cirice
" on the radio and decided to give it a listen. What I discovered was a band that, I am firmly convinced, is the next big thing in metal: even as the old guard of Black Sabbath
, Motorhead, and Slayer
are calling it a day, the vacuum of arena-filling metal bands needed to be filled. Papa Emeritus and his band of ghouls are just the void-filling balm from the nether-hole of satan herself to take up the banner of metal. Mixing heavy bass-work, melody-driven guitars, haunting keyboards, and a vocalist sharing more in common with Eric Bloom of Blue Oyster Cult than Kronos
heralds the return of classic metal.
what better offering to this statement than the titanic Meliora
? Another biting ode to Paradise Lost
, and the true mascot of this band, "From the Pinnacle to the Pit" thunders to life and doesn't relent until the fallen angel is gazing up at the light of heaven, plotting bloody vengeance. And
speaking of thunder, "Cirice
" delivers a hauntingly doomy ode drenched in Candlemass
worship. As it is the longest song on the album, it opens with a spine-tingling acoustic guitar before crushing skulls beneath thunderous guitar riffs and, like the album opener "Spirit
", continues to build up to a hair-raising crescendo when Papa lets out a grim, hopeless wail of "I can see through the scars inside you" somewhere around the five minute mark.
Without divulging too much, I will only speak of two more tracks. "Majesty
" from side B continues the three-part punch of the first side, delivering an unholy metallic assault, while "He Is" is a softer affair: a ballad that sounds like a contemporary christian (or should that be 'contemporary satanic'?) song dedicated to the Beast
. Which isn't entirely a dismissive statement: the guitar work and harmony parts are top notch and, dare I say it, beautiful. If I have anything derogatory to say about this album, the second half hasn't really struck a chord with me, apart from the exceptional "Majesty
Make whatever sacrifices to satan that you have to, but listen to Meliora