|Review: Artep - Black War|
Year released: 2008
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: January 13, 2009
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Another EP for Artep, as a teaser for their upcoming full-length. Listening to this is a bit like taking a trip back to the late 90's, early 2000's. The band mixes some mildly raw Black Metal with a good dose of symphonic elements (read: keyboards), something that was quite common around those times (interesting early on, overloaded scene later.) This is mostly mid-paced, so don't expect Emperor-like speed here for the most part. Lots of atmosphere here, mostly due to the abundant use of keyboards, although sometimes some guitar passages take care of throwing in a bit of a melancholic touch. You really have to like keyboards to listen to this, but Artep know how to use them to great effect, creating a doomy/horror-ish/sad, even somewhat theatrical-sounding atmosphere (and all that in just short of 19 minutes of playing time.) The vocals are "screechy BM rasps", at times coming a little too close to being Dani Filth-esque, but not quite getting there. They fit the music, which is what's important in the end.
Black War may be short, but there's plenty going on here. It's a good introduction to Artep's mastery of their instruments and excellent ability to produce really poignant atmospheres, all in a "grandiose"-sounding setting (for lack of a better term.) A sign of good things to come if their upcoming album is anything like this.
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