Rorcal - Creon
Lost Pilgrims Records
Black Metal
4 songs (51' 22")
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Andy

I first encountered Swiss black metallers Rorcal on their split with Process of Guilt, and was thus expecting a furious blast rather than what I got here. But this is a different facet of the band, a more thoughtful concept building on their interest in Greek mythology and tragedy. Creon, a concept album based on the deaths of four people close to the eponymous king of Thebes, is complex black metal reminding me more of the work of Drudkh than of the angry primitivism of the split I heard.

The melodies are nonetheless quite dissonant and abrasive. Moving from a slow barrage of noise mixed with ringing guitar melodies, the song evolves almost to a post-rock vibe towards the middle. Yonni Chapatte's vocals, filled with a powerful fury, trail off to lost and tragic shrieks on Polynices (all the track names are actually written in Greek, but for familiarity I'm transliterating them the way they're usually rendered in English). Antigone, on the other hand, rides heavily on low-pitched grinds in the bottom, a flare of mid-range tremolo soloing cascading maniacally over the top. The rough handling the listener is in for has nothing to do with the fine production job, though; some significant expertise went into making sure the cymbal crashes and snares got as much attention as the guitar work. This isn't a one-or-two-man outfit -- there are five guys in the band, which gives them the ability to truly indulge the listener's cravings for two-guitar black metal duets without needing to layer anything, and the result, especially with Ron Lahyani's drumming underscoring the already ridiculously heavy guitars with the sort of fills that might normally be considered drum solos.

(That would be right about the time Creon ought to be discovering that his soon-to-be daughter-in-law has hanged herself...before he gets the chance to bury her alive. Why, again, don't more black metal bands use Greek tragedy in their lyrics?) The content can barely be guessed at, though, for Chapatte has a voice that renders the lyrics virtually unintelligible. In the tragedy, the death of Antigone results in a domino effect of suicides as Creon's family self-destructs, and this is reflected well in the music, moving from raging guitar-based tremolo to the doomy fatalism of Eurydice, filled with breakdowns that give each instrument a chance to shine without ever losing its oppressive atmosphere, often given a blastbeat-driven set of kicks as the song speeds up.

In four songs, Creon crams in a lot of musicianship and some unique concepts -- the blocky guitar solos alone are probably worth the price of admission. An ambitious composition from a band with the skill level to do it justice.

Killing Songs :
All are excellent
Andy quoted 84 / 100
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