Genre: Black / Death Metal
Label: Godz ov War Productions
The debut full length of Atrexial from Spain is also their very first release, skipping demos / promos or similar types completely. It’s bandmembers have some experience working with other projects the recent years, in various different genres around the extreme sound.With this band, they take on a more modern form of black / death metal in the vein of Behemoth and the likes, presenting “Souverain” through Godz ov War.
As expected, the production offers a very clean and loud sound and they have worked a lot in the studio as it seems, I get the feeling that some effects have been added to the devilish, thick vocals. The record reaches almost an hour of music and deals with standard topics like death, hatred, without really going into an anti-religious side apart from a few references.
Atrexial use the force of their guitars to create pompous riffs and there are many of them in the record. Apart from a couple of cleaner, more ominous passages (i.e the intro of “Illuminatur” and some vague synths), most of the album is about the guitar lines. The good tracks of “Souverain” are the ones with the catchiest riffs, see “Trinity” or “Under the Scourge of Lamasthu”, which opens with a part strongly similar to today’s Behemoth.
However, it’s an album that cannot escape the spectrum of the million bands out there and might not hold the listener for a second listen. Some guitar lines and solos are solid, the interludes and intro / outro are also quite nice, but as a whole it’s a very typical collection of black / death you have heard before, and I don’t mean it in the positive manner. The musical quality is not great overall, especially the constant abuse of blast beats everywhere. It’s notpanacea guys.
I would not say the length of “Souverain” works on its favor, as ideally it should have been like, twenty minutes shorter or so. It might be tiring for the listener to get through it in one sitting, as it doesn’t have that much variation. In reality, Atrexial do not totally succeed in making a memorable record, even though most of it is legit at first glance, because it lacks a personal identity. I would not condemn it as a failing attempt but there isn’t something you might be amused by here.