In Lingua Mortua - Bellowing Sea – Racked By Tempest
Termo Records
Progressive/Symphonic Black Metal
8 songs (49:26)
Release year: 2007
In Lingua Mortua, Termo Records
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

So great an impact did Emperor have on the Black Metal scene that it’s rare to find bands that try and copy the Norwegians’ style, preferring to go for something much less imposing – generally Dimmu Borgir, and as much as I like Shagrath and his merry men, compared to Emperor they’re a campfire next to a volcano. Yet when you do have a new band with a bit of imperial wrath to their sound, they generally tend to be little short of awesome, and In Lingua Mortua are no exception. Containing members of Urgehal, Angst Skvadron, and Shining, the band take the traditional Norsk route towards Black Metal supremacy but add enough of their own style and individuality to make it unique. And, for once, In Lingua Mortua add just a little experimentation rather than a bucketload, meaning that the underlying Black Metal is the focus rather than the desperate noises that so many bands feel they have to throw over the top to hide the faults – paint over rust, in many a case.

For the most part, Bellowing Sea – Racked By Tempest is your ordinary Symphonic Black Metal, but it’s done damn, damn well. The base darkness is a torrent of fury, frequent blastbeats roaring frustration as they completely fail to cover up a variety of keyboards, which vary from the fuzzy 70s sounds of Mirage to moments that sound as if they were played by an actual orchestra. They never take over completely despite often being at the front, however, as the guitars have an equally powerful voice. Songwriting, that most important and often-overlooked element of Metal, is amazing. Each track is an adventure as much as a piece of music, the dynamics judged perfectly. Take Relinquish; varying piano and blasts at the start, it forms a Limbonic Art-y masterpiece of jagged riffs and epic keys before dissolving into ambience. Despite the lengths of some songs (Sowers Of Discord is eleven minutes, for example) they’re uniformly gripping, rarely repetitive, knowing exactly when to change to keep your interest focused. Moments such as the uncanny whistling towards the end of Sowers Of Discord, changing to almost Folky violin (played by Sareeta of Ram-Zet and Ásmegin) are unexpected and enjoyable.

Whilst it may seem slightly Dimmu-y at first, especially at times with Trond’s vocals, once you’ve reached final track The Melancholy Surge, and True Norwegian Black Metal is mixing with avant-garde saxophone, any such comparisons will be gone forever. A truly excellent debut album from this project, and with a second on the way it looks like In Lingua Mortua will be darkening my playlist for a long time to come.

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Killing Songs :
Awe And Terror, Mirage, Relinquish, From Winsome To Bestial, Sowers Of Discord, The Melancholy Surge
Goat quoted 90 / 100
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