January 20, 2013

Weapon - Embers and Revelations

Review by Adrian Tan.

The Canadian metal scene is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance of late, spewing forth a host of excellent black/death metal bands (Antideluvian, Adversarial and Revenge - just to drop a couple of names). Joining the dirty denizens of the Great North here is Weapon - a four piece from Edmonton led by the nigh ineffable Vetis Monarch (of Asian descent no less!).

While Embers and Revelations - the band’s third full length overall - marks their major label (Relapse) debut, make no mistake, this record retains every sinew of underground credibility. Eschewing raw primal aggression - so typical of many black/death acts - the band’s musical focus has always been on songcraft and composition.

Hook-laden riffage and killer guitar solos are blended together with just a tinge of Eastern flavour to form memorable tunes that befits the occult subject matter. The music is made all the more virulent through the extremely tight and competent delivery of the band.

The album definitely benefits from the masterful production job done here. Monarch’s barks and growls come through with menacing conviction. The thick guitar and rumbling bass tones lend just enough of a shade of filth to create the intended atmosphere.

Listening to Weapon is at times, somewhat of a throwback - a Slayer-esque riff here and an Immortal-esque arrangement there - these classics have undoubtedly laid their influence on the band. And like every other hallmark band that builds upon the best and innovates to find their signature sound, here is one band that is well on the right track. The Weapon sound may yet be a work in progress but it is quickly coming into focus.

Technicalities and atmospherics aside, at the crux of it, great metal is and always will be about songs. Here is a band that thoroughly understands this and in this album, killer songs are delivered in abundance.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

  1. There's been a lot of scuttlebutt about the production, but having a clean and listenable record doesn't automatically mean that you've made a pop record or that there's no atmosphere. As a guitarist, I like being able to hear the riffs. And the riffs on this album are pretty spectacular.

    One of the best of 2012, without a doubt.

    1. A clean production for this type of music makes the album stand out in the crowd, so good choice by Relapse/weapon there. It wouldn't have worked without the killer songs though, as Adrian says.

  2. Is it me or was the singer chanting "Heil" at one point during the song clip you posted?

  3. un album puissant et racé,la voix et les riffs sont absolument géniaux,j'aime l'impression dégagé par cet album