5 Sep 2016

Vesterian: "Anthems for the Coming War Age"


In league with the gods of war
US black metal band Vesterian has existed in some form since 1994 where they started out as Centurion. Once they changed their name to Vesterian in 1997, several demos ensued before the release of their first actual album came out in 2013 through Glorious North Productions. Anthems for the Coming War Age is as tumultuous as the fractured past of the band, mirroring the revolving door lineup through the years in cacophonous black metal eruptions.

Thinking back to genre originators like Bathory, Venom and Hellhammer, there has often been a sort of clumsiness to the approach of bands in pursuit of extremity. But Vesterian calls forth the spectres of old with every beat, strum and roar in exact timing, leaving nothing to be unsure or half-assed, neither in songwriting nor enactment.

"The lack of variation in terms of speed is ... made up for in the sheer power..."

Anthems for the Coming War Age features, among other things, a drummer who doesn't know how to relax, and he is above all very generous with his blastbeats, handing out beatings left, right and centre with wild, reckless abandon. He is faster than a shark, and many times more deliberate and controlled. The lack of variation in terms of speed is, however, made up for in the sheer power and ferocity with which the guitars and vocals are delivered.

Vesterian often venture beyond the realms of orthodox black metal, and in their blackened chasms they find much greater depth and atmosphere than many high speed-oriented black metal bands. Morax Gates pt. 2, as a prime example, proves that the American band is no mere one trick pony. Rather, they show time and time again - as with the track Ancient Bloodthirst - that they are more akin to a hulking war horse. You will find no symphonic grandiosities, 10-minute ambient journeys nor airy interludes, intros or outros. You will find only war and death.

7/10


Released in 2013 by Glorious North Productions

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