Flamekeeper - We Who Light the Fire
Invictus Productions
Epic heavy/black metal
5 songs (26' 14")
Release year: 2019
Invictus Productions
Reviewed by Andy
Surprise of the month

Flamekeeper only started in 2018, but this one-man project's debut EP, We Who Light the Fire, is impressive. A mix of epic heavy and black metal, it's got so many ideas crammed into its four original tracks (plus a bombastic intro and a Necromantia cover) that it seems like it would become incoherent, like the offerings of a few other bands that have dared such ambitious crossovers. It doesn't.

Imagine Bathory's Viking albums cranked up to 11, but with second-wave greats writing the tunes and Manowar providing the riffs. The slightly hoarse but clean vocals of Marco S. echo hollowly over the folk flutes of the title track, mingled with shredded solos like the call and response of a pagan ritual in the woods. The guitars fill the whole mix with a smoky haze to a background of Viking chanting, giving way to blastbeats and tremolo picking.

The atmosphere is as epic as advertised. Nomads of the World Beyond is one of the best examples of this: In five and a half minutes, we're ranging from crusty d-beats to frigid Northern tremolo harmonies, under the aegis of thunderous classic riffing, run through a slight reverb that makes everything sound like it's echoing off of cliffs.

We Who Light the Fire comes as a welcome end-of-year surprise. There have been a few other excellent black/heavy metal mashups this year, but this EP contends for the number one position among them.

Bandcamp: https://invictusproductions666.bandcamp.com/album/we-who-light-the-fire.

Killing Songs :
Nomads of the World Beyond, We Who Light the Fire
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