The Foreshadows Of Unholy Anger
Review by Vladimir on July 2, 2023.
"Legend has it that it was written by the Dark Ones, Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, Roughly Translated Book of the Dead, the book served as a passageway, to the evil worlds beyond, it was written long ago when the seas ran red with blood, it was this blood that was used to ink the book". This quote, which is taken from the movie Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, always had that touch of Lovecraftian horror and mystery to it, and in some way, it also connects with the subject of this review. The subject that I am referring to is a one-man black metal project from Montenegro called Algol, which was founded by Bratislav Algol. There aren't many people who are familiar with him, but he has a YouTube channel titled "Bratislav" where he used to make interesting riff journey videos about black metal from different eras and different countries as well. Through that channel, I managed to come across his band Algol, which recently released its second full-length album The Foreshadows Of Unholy Anger on June 28th as a digital independent album. So, what is exactly so interesting about Algol and should you care to take a peek? Stay tuned to find out…
Algol's style is mostly comprised of traditional black metal with tremolo picking riffs with mid-tempo or double-bass drumming, backed up by harsh shrieking vocals, but with some slight twists here and there. There are frequent instances of riffs, be it tremolo or mid-tempo down picking, which are played in lower register notes on the 7th guitar string, giving the music a bit more depth and strangeness to it. I was personally never sure what to think about black metal songs which are played on 7 string guitars where you can hear the lower register notes that could easily be placed in the death metal category if it had growls instead of harsh vocals, but there are still times when this is a welcome feature. Sometimes the riffs and the drum beats stray in a different direction which has some sort of metalcore style, such examples being 'Oblivion', 'Diabolical Aura' and 'Ars Obscura', which in particular has those traditional metalcore shouting vocals. This is yet another unusual factor on this album worthy of mention, which I think adds another level of strangeness to what was previously mentioned about 7 string black metal riffing. Interestingly enough, there is also a very catchy blackened heavy metal riff on the sixth track 'A Man Of One Book' that really caught my attention. One major shift from Algol's previous works, including the debut album Hidden In Eternity, all of which were consisted only of instrumental tracks, is that on this album we have the inclusion of vocals which were done by Mateusz Sibila, except on the last track 'Breaking The Spell' which is an instrumental. I personally think that this is a welcome change for Algol, because despite Bratislav's great effort at instrumental work, I always felt that his music needed that extra touch with black metal vocals to spice up both the music and the atmosphere. As for the themes of The Foreshadows Of Unholy Anger, Algol continues the occult Lovecraftian theme which was previously established on the debut album Hidden In Eternity, only this time it's much more interesting and engaging with the addition of lyrics and vocals. The sound production is very clean yet just heavy enough for a black metal album, though my only small issue that I have is the digital sounding drums which are a bit weaker in comparison to the guitars. Although if you manage to look through this issue, I don't think you will be bothered by it that much.
I think that Algol did a really good job here, the dynamic songwriting worked pretty well with each song, incorporating different ideas in order to have tracks stand out from one another. If you ask me, I'd say that The Foreshadows Of Unholy Anger isn't just a step in the right direction, but also a huge leap forward in comparison to its predecessor Hidden In Eternity which built the foundation and this album could probably be considered its proper continuation. People who have been following Bratislav Algol's YouTube channel should definitely check out this album and experience what it has to offer.
Rating: 8.1 out of 10426