29 Aug 2016

Written in Torment: "Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes"

Triumphant black metal from Harrogate
The fact that Written in Torment - an anti-Christian black metal band - hails from a town as scenic and picturesque as Harrogate, England, is testament to the fact that you can find even the most extreme genres in all places, unlikely though they may be. Mike Hardisty, working under the name Leviathan, created the band in 2003 and has since recorded a few releases more or less on his own. From The Uncreation EP in 2006, it wouldn't be until 2013 that the world would once again be exposed to Written in Torment's vile doctrines.

With black metal, one characteristic that has become especially widely spread is that quote-unquote good production, or sound, is often sacrificed in favour of more flavourful atmosphere and ambiance. But Written in Torment's debut album, Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes, goes against the grain of the under-produced masses with an album that finds both comfort and strength in the compositions themselves, letting each riff, melody, solo, beat and syllable hold its own with confidence and, dare one say, success.

"the album as a whole seems to betray traditional black metal practises in favour of various other extreme metal elements"

There is a blindingly stark contrast between the pleasing content of the music and the harsh-natured lyrics and message. Songs like Beast of the Depths and Grief show off Hardisty's writing abilities, and the album as a whole seems to betray traditional black metal practises in favour of various other extreme metal elements that makes the album much more intriguing.

Legends like Emperor come to mind when Written in Torment's vast melodic sprawls erupt from Leviathan's throat and fingers. Smooth transitioning between chilling high-speed tremolos to glorious, warm and well-accomplished guitar melodies and solos aren't rare at all on Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes.

The band's strength lies especially with the amount of variation within a certain musical spectrum that seems both predetermined and calculated, but also like whimsical impulses. Take a journey through themes of war, biblical travesties and hardships with Written in Torment, and experience the best that black metal has to offer. The debut album is ripe with immersive riffing and thoughtful compositions that pull you in and hold you in an iron grip.


Released in 2013 by Glorious North Productions


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