Review: Balfor “Black Serpent Rising”

Review: Balfor “Black Serpent Rising”

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balforBalfor “Black Serpent Rising”
Drakkar Productions

After a quite long intermission Ukrainians Balfor pleases the fans of «barbarick black metal» with their new album Black Serpent Rising.

From their last release, EP Heralds Of The Fall many things happened in a band. First of all there are some line-up changes: new guitarist Astaroth Merc (Raventale, Deferum Sacrum) now constantly playing in a band. Also Balfor signed with French label Drakkar Productions. It seems, that these are the reasons for so long release, that was recorded, according to a band themselves, in 2015.

Black Serpent Rising include eight epic and very atmospheric songs. Of course, dominating genre is black metal, with its power, brutality and harsh vocals. With this, Balfor‘s music is very melodic. In every song there is a solo (quite technical) and sometimes keyboards adding the ambiance. But fast, raw riffs, blast beats and double pedals will always remind the listener what is in the core.

With this, «devil is in details»: female folk choir in “Down Of Savage” and “Unbounded Wrath Of Venom” (something similar can be heard in Rotting Christ‘s AEALO, for example) with some folk instruments. “Heralds Of The Fall” with “Among The Fallen Ones” are using men choirs with the drums only on a background. Sometimes clean vocals can be heard, which is changed with harsh, more inherent to the music. All of this with changing pace creates a great dark epic atmosphere.

Recording quality should also be mentioned. Black Serpent Rising was recorded in Kyiv, at More Music Studio, mixed and mastered at Blacklight Studio by Shaddar, who worked with such bands like Khors and Ulverg. As a result, an album sounds very powerful, and folr instruments are wisely underlined and highlited.

An artwork created by Ukrainian artist Nugelslag, who also worked with aforementioned Rotting Christ. It perfectly captures all that is present in the album: darkness, power and brutality of the music.

To sum up, new Balfor‘s longplay is keeping the band’s spirit. Masterfully created atmosphere makes the imagination run and music power, it’s banal as it may sound, inspires. Great played and qualitatively recorded work that would be liked not only by black metal fans, but also many others.

Black Serpent Rising will be released on January, 15-th by Drakkar Productions.

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