Weapon - Embers And Revelations
Relapse Records
Blackened Death Metal
8 songs (37:19)
Release year: 2012
Weapon, Relapse Records
Reviewed by Goat

The third album from Canadian four-piece Weapon is a step away from its past, the band having modernised both production and sound so that there's a slickness here that was missing from both Drakonian Paradigm and From The Devil's Tomb. It takes several listens to realise that the songwriting is actually lacking rather than so complex it takes time to fathom, as Weapon are undeniably good with their instruments. Yet the dark energy that made Drakonian Paradigm especially such a favourite of mine is almost completely missing here, the acoustic guitars and Eastern influences gone, making Embers And Revelations a competent if ultimately disappointing album. That's not to say it's worthless; far from it. As far as blackened death metal goes, this is excellent, a melodic take on the genre much influenced by heavy metal and led by mastermind Vetis Monarch's skilled guitarwork. The intro to opening track The First Witnesses Of Lucifer has a distinct Krisiun tone to it, moving into Behemoth-ic chugging and building in speed and viciousness, something like an intro to the rest of the album but too complex in use of riffage to really be just an intro.

You know the album has started properly with the crunchy Vanguard Of The Morning Star, a heads-down blastfest that comes up for melodic air with quite an enjoyably epic tone. A spooky crack of thunder opens Crepusclar Swamp, Unhinged Swine, but it doesn't make significant move away from the Behemothic chugging, which is already starting to grate a little, repetitive in a bad way, the track only saved by the introduction of lead guitar towards the end and a slight slowing of tempo, increasing the intensity. Fortunately Limber Lilith follows, opening with melancholic melody and launching into a blitzkrieg assault, intense and vicious, the lead guitars all over the track giving it a melodic feel and masking the heaviness. It slows at the end, for perhaps the best use of Behemothic chugging on the album, truly fitting the vocal chants and enough to make this album excellent if it matched this level of quality all the way through.

Sadly, it doesn't. Good moments here and there (the gang shouts in the title track, the psychedelic touch towards the end of Disavowing Each In Aum) aren't enough to escape the feeling that the band are playing it rather safe with this release. It's not a bad album by any means, but it does seem to have been considerably Behemothised for their new label, and being fair going from The Ajna Offensive to Relapse is quite a jump. I'd mourn if Weapon became another homogenic band in this little subgenre, when they beforehand shone quite brightly - Embers And Revelations is still very worthy of your ears, but is not as good as the two prior releases, so newcomers should start there. Those who have followed them can take comfort in the likes of Shahenshah, a twisting, prog-touched masterclass in excellent riffage, and pray its like shall come again...

Killing Songs :
Vanguard Of The Morning Star, Limber Lilith, Shahenshah
Goat quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by Weapon that we have reviewed:
Weapon - From the Devils Tomb reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
Weapon - Drakonian Paradigm reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
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