That song also sees the band making their biggest musical departure, as they back the reflective lyrics with sparse atmospherics, reverb-drenched picked guitar and sonorous piano. There’s still an aggressive edge, but there’s an ebb and flow to the song, and Larissa also stuns with a display of clean vocals – her first full foray into that area. It might have reduced her to tears and taken 10 hours in the vocal recording booth to capture it but the emotional pay-off is more than worth it.
Elsewhere, the music on Erebos will be familiar to existing fans but with more refinements and flashes of invention threaded into and through the brutality. After the short cinematic intro of Born From Chaos, opener proper Judges Of The Underworld explodes in a welter of rhythmic pulses, incorporating both clean guitar melodies and fearsomely heavy hardcore-style breakdowns into its frequently gear-changing whole. Nemesis repeats its raw, bloodied hook – ‘I am the damaged one / You deserve all damage done’ like a mantra, in amongst the technical runs and riffs. Comfort Of Complicity brings in some deft prog-metal touches while Castigated In Steel And Concrete layers some ethereal guitars over jagged metallic aggression.
As Technologies Of Death closes proceedings with a vicious pummelling of capital punishment, it’s the end of an exhausting but utterly exhilarating ride. It’s still early but it’s an incredibly safe bet that one of the best metal albums of the year is already here.
For fans of: Employed To Serve, Blood Incantation, Gatecreeper
Erebos is released on February 4 via Century Media