“Three hundred thousand years
man has roamed the earth.
Losing every chance to prosper,
to grow and learn.”
Black Royal to me was always something of a sonic oddity being a Finnish stoner band with a death metal attitude. Coming from a country widely know for circle jerk of melodies in their melodic death bands and happy going beer beer troll fests of their folk metal bands. Like I mentioned in the past for the Summoning pt. 2 review that I’m not big fan of a death˙n˙roll genre but the guys had scored a very interesting formula which was successfully performed in the last two The Summoning EPs and their debut album Lightbringer is a very logical continuation while at the same time evolving and nurturing their sound.
As their first full length album the band had more space to explore different genres and every song stands its own ground and its own sonic entity although this is pretty much a concept album.
Lightbringer is a theme record and meant to be listened as a whole. The theme itself can be freely described as mankind’s complete failure in finding their inner strength and the useless and meaningless trust on fake ideologies that they lean upon to.
Although a concept with a linear story it does not fall to usual traps that tracks have to suffer so the story have to go on. Here every track is quite good and as mentioned, in a way presents a different side of the band. Successfully flirting with different subgenres; from more southern vibe like the track “Salvation” or the punkish fuck off “Denial”, to more evil vibes like “Pentagram Doctrine” to more epic tracks like “The Chosen”.
It’s really a mix bag, but in a positive way.
Production is spot on, it’s fat and massive but leaves room for every instrument to shine when the moment requires of them. Guitar and bass have great and prominent sonic union here.
But unlike the past efforts, it does not have the immediate hooks and catchiness as much and this more feels like a slow burn and requires more attention and repeated listening. But it is a darker record so some sacrifice had been made.
Nevertheless, Black Royal is one of more unique imports from Finland and is worth checking out, emerging headfirst with the middle finger in one hand and devil horns in the other from the ever-growing mass of generic bands.