The Church On The Island
Review by Alex on September 12, 2018.
The Church On The Island is Cemetery Light’s follow-up release to 2018’s Ep titled Lemuralia which I have listened to and was pleased with what was presented. Imagine horror themed 1st wave black metal mixed with a slightly comparable form of bestial black/death vocals (though still vastly different) altogether residing on a sharp production that is almost void of any bass. The last album put out by Cemetery Lights showcased a great deal of potential, with The Church On The Island the project has awoken to its capabilities with a superior atmospheric approach when compared to Lemuralia.
This one came as a major surprise to me during the time spent browsing through the Nuclear War Now Bandcamp page. I cannot accurately recall the last time I was glued to what is definitely a new take on the black metal genre since discovering Inquisition’s Into The Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult, which was maybe 5 years ago? The Church On The Island is one of those releases that I can surely call innovative. It possesses very strange vocals that almost completely break loose from the constraints of the ideal black metal high pitched barks and shrieks. Not just that, The Church on The Island has a significant amount of musical variations occurring throughout the 24 minutes of its play time. The self-titled track features influences of thrash metal particularly in the drumming and leading riff departments. The way in which they are connected gives off a thrashy headbanging feeling and is accompanied by a very thrash metal-esque guitar solo. The self-titled track which is one of my favorites and is a contending highlight of the album sounds heavily inspired by rock and roll especially in the opening segments just before you get to the mesmerizing guitar lead around the halfway mark of the single. The drumming is on spot, it is simplistic entirely, but plays to the catchiness of the guitar melodies ever so fluently. There are even moments that have a doom metal feeling accompanying songs such as "The Church on The Island" and "The Bell". "Necrocacophony" is almost entirely paced as a doom metal song would be. Echoing sound-scapes also reveal themselves in the form of growls, grunts and gasps that add to the mysterious and creepy air of the record. One of the best guitar solos/riffs is on the track “Rapture”; it kicks in on the high notes and slowly dissolves into a sweet yet foreboding melody. The late 50’s sounding guitars successfully manages to convey the overall feeling The Church on The Island creates, as though you are gathered around a campfire exchanging paranormal experiences with your companions until some stranger with a wrinkled face and long grey beard wearing a long black rugged coat unexpectedly emerges from the woods nearby to offer some of his paranormal experiences; and then the night comes alive. This record has the kind of songs you can imagine being used as the theme for an opening scene to a zombie horror film; its a well thought out piece of work this one, even the instrumental interlude is creepy and can easily qualify as theme music for horror films of old.
This one man project is fucking bad-ass. I cannot wait to hear more, only next time I need it to be in the form of a full length album. I’m hooked on this project and the riffs man, the riffs are too blasted good. Vinyl treatment please, Nuclear War Now! Records.
"The Church On The Island"
Rating: 8.7 out of 10