|Review: Belenos - Argoat|
Label: Northern Silence Productions
Year released: 2019
Genre: Pagan Metal
Review online: October 17, 2019
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
I was glad to see Belenos was back with 2016's Kornog, and now, just three years later, we get a new disc that really signals a full return to form for this semi-legendary band. Stripped of all other temporary members, Loic Cellier has wrought his own, full vision of the band, and seems to have dug back down to the powerful Pagan Black Metal he once wielded on classic albums like Spicilege.
Argoat (a Breton word for the inland regions of Brittany) is a tour de force in addictive riffing and complex, polished songwriting. Again, we are treated to Loic's excellent mixing of melodically intricate guitar work, aggressive heaviness, and his urgent, raw vocals. Belenos have always been influenced by folk melodies and modes without actually using folk instruments, making them more akin to bands like Skyforger in that they evoke a folkish soundscape but are not playing any real folk music. This album is hard-edged, aggressive, and involving all at the same time.
Argoat is much more textured and interesting than Kornog, and I hope this really signals a full renaissance for this great band. This album shows them firing on all cylinders, and I am so glad to see it.
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