Monday, October 08, 2007

The Satanic Forest Consumed By Flames ...

Slechtvalk began as a one man project by Dutchman Shamgar and has grown into a full band (with 6 or 7 members at one point). Today, I'll be reviewing the first full length album "Falconry" by the man Shamgar. No demos were ever recorded so "Falconry" is a progression of Shamgar's growth as a songwriter over a couple years. The earlier written songs have a strong keyboard element whereas the later written songs are more straight forward black metal.

"Falconry" kicks off with the symphonic laden "Cries Of The Haunted". It's bleak raw sound reminds me of "Return Of The Black Death" era Antestor. It's fast and melodic and one of the better tracks on the album. "T.M.B.W.G.M.N.I" continues the strong keyboard sound with more of an industrial feel not unlike Kekal (fellow label mates).

"In Hell I Burn" is the first straight up black metal song. It's raw and fast without losing melody. The outro is enhanced by the keyboards and creates a sorrowful feeling. "My Bleeding Heart" intros with a gothic sound and mechanical sounding drums (all done via drum machine and for the most part very well done). This song is slower and majestic.

"To Praise The Unpraised" is a solid slab of black metal with the guitar riff carrying a lot of the melody. It's a little faster with dual black and death vocals. It's catchy and brutally uplifting. But not as much as "The Satanic Forest". This song is probably my favourite on the album. It's keyboard heavy with a very uplifting melody and the song moves with a majestic flow. A very memorable tune.

"Consumed By Flames" opens with eerie keyboards before bludgeoning us with an epically majestic black metal tune. This song is solid symphonic black metal. Very melodic. "My Eternal Beloved" is more bleak with the heaviest riff on the album and more death metal vocal stylings mixed with the black screech. It's slower and sorrowful.

The album closer "De Verdrongen Tekenen" finishes with a little faster pace and melodic black metal. the keys aren't as prominent and the sound is raw and sad.

This is not Shamgar's best work, but a very strong start. The production suffers mildly with some muffledness, but given this was recorded on his home computer, it's pretty solid. The mix is good with nothing being to over bearing, though the vocals at times seem to low. A miner critiqued that is fixed by just cranking the volume! The drum work is solid and though you can pick out the machine feel, they tend to blend with music and do not sound hollow and fake.

Next week I'll be taking a look at Slechtvalk the band and let me just say that Shamgar (with "Falconry") has begun something very good.


Blogger etain_lavena said...

interesting as always...that pic with him and the knife is funny, or is it just me?

5:44 AM  
Blogger DPTH International said...

It's not just you Etain_Lavena, that pic is funny!

2:17 PM  

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