Glorior Belli - Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls (Agonia Records)

An interesting if not wholly successful mashup of styles...
Release Date: 
28 Oct 2013 - 11:30pm

Genres, sub-genres, we love ‘em, right? We can’t get enough of bands proclaiming themselves to be the new Gods of post-blackthrash shoegaze mayhem, am I wrong? Well, just when you thought every niche conceivable within the broad church that is metal had been filled, here come French lunatics Glorior Belli with their second stab at southern sludge/black metal – praise be!

That’s right, I said second; the less observant among you may have missed their first attempt at mastering this new super-genre, 2011’s The Great Southern Darkness. Obviously not such a successful record that Metal Blade gave J, S, JHM and Q the funds to have another tilt under their patronage, it nevertheless ignited a flame within the boys which is why I’m here describing the whole alligator-obsessed shebang to you now. 

And what a surprisingly alluring shebang it is too. The two main genres at work here – southern sludge and black metal, don’t actually work that well when placed in too close a juxtaposition, it has to be said, but the band does manage to hold the mix together well enough over the album as a whole to create something of an oppressive, heat-buggered, dense, foreboding atmosphere that just about pulls off most of the album’s stated aims.

There are some nice touches throughout – the title track in particular comes close to a winning generic synthesis, and the instrumental interlude Backwoods Bayou also forms a nice bit of light and shade between the regulation sturming and dranging, whilst I Asked For Wine, He Gave Me Blood also has enough about it to suggest this might be a project worth pursuing as far as a third album; However you have to wonder whether the icy hand of black metal is just too odd a fit for the mildewed, damp and clammy glove of southern sludge and doom long term as far as bringing two disperate groups of fans together under the one flag is concerned. But whatever I think, this is an interesting concept worth your investigation, if not your actual hard-earned cash.