The Great Solar Hunter
Review by Fernando on July 9, 2019.
From Down Under comes Consummation, a black metal band from Queensland following in the steps of many excellent acts from Australia. Consummation after impressing with a demo and an EP unleash their debut album The Great Solar Hunter on Profound Lore Records and for a debut album, Consummation are a force to be reckoned with.
The band flexes with a punishing style of black metal that heavily borrows from primitive death metal and various atmospheric and even experimental tinges from black metal bands. This is a punishing and relentless album that starts at strong and never loses its focus. The album as a whole creates a relentless atmosphere, an explosive cacophony of aggression, a perfect ode to its namesake.
At 5 tracks this album is an experience you ought to sit down and pay attention to. The tracks are very long and the first half of the album is absolute aggression. The band uses all their assets here, speed is the name of the game and it shows. After the first 2 tracks the album takes a much more ritualistic streak while not losing the initial momentum, the third track “Phosphor Libation” is the transition song. It starts as fast as the previous tracks and then slows down into a dreadful dirge and then back to the speed; its schizophrenic in the best way possible but then ends with the slower pace which perfectly sets the tone for the track “Apotheoses” where the slower much menacing atmosphere is fully embraced in an 8 minute death march with breaks where the drumming speeds up for maximum effect, reinforcing the tone the band set. The final track of the album “The Eminent Fires of Sacrifice” is the perfect culmination of everything the band displayed with the previous songs. Everything that I mentioned before is here, the speed and the dread, and it all concludes in exquisite violence, a fitting end that is reminiscent of the apocalypse described in the lyrics.
All the performances here work in perfect sync and all in service of creating the hellish and apocalyptic atmosphere. The vocals by guitarist Craig Young are cold growls that echo demonically through each song; the guitar work here is excellent and we have a rare instance of 3 guitars which help in creating that atmosphere of dissonant chaos. Consummation's chosen style of black metal has a very clear death metal influence, the emphasis is put on speed and aggression which are complimented by a forceful bass courtesy of Joel Rademaker (who also adds the third guitar), while not as prominent as the guitars it serves its purpose in the rhythm section, serving as the foundation for the wall of sound created by the guitars. The biggest standout performance that sells the music here alongside the guitars is the drumming by David Haley who replaced original drummer Necros Craigos. Haley steals the show; his drumming is equal parts lightning fast and destructive and ritualistically primal, seamlessly transitioning from the faster parts into the slower parts. Haley succeeds in being a worthy replacement and his talent elevates this album higher.
Overall, Consummation has released a solid and extremely well crafted album and easily a top contender for album of the year. Australia once again surprises with another excellent band, this all aided by a production that perfectly displays the band’s strengths and has the perfect balance of sounding good and keeping the grit that every good black metal album should have.
Best tracks: “Ophidian Crown”, “Phosphor Libation”, “The Eminent Fires of Sacrifice”.
Rating: 9.8 out of 10