Denouncement Pyre- Black Sun Unbound (Hells Headbangers)

The Black Sun has been released.
Release Date: 
22 Jul 2016 (All day)

If we’re talking about real, cross burnin’, corpse paintin’, rootin’ tootin’ black metal then there aren’t too many Australian bands that come to mind quicker than Melbourne’s Denouncement Pyre. Their 2013 album Almighty Arcanum brought the ultra-orthodox and sincere occultism of Watain and similar black metal bands to Australian shores and it was impressive to see the band stand shoulder to shoulder with acts of an international calibre. Now they’re back with a new album, Black Sun Unbound

The good news is that if you enjoyed Almighty Arcanum, you’re very much going to enjoy what’s on offer on Black Sun Unbound. After instrumental opener Abnegate has concluded and we get into first proper track Deathless Dreaming, it becomes clear that the band has stayed the course in terms of sound and quality. Admittedly, the distinctly Swedish; with 'a pinch of death' take on black metal that Denouncement Pyre specialises in is a path well-travelled by many other bands. Fortunately, the band has the songs to make them stand out from the crowd. Songs like Wounds of Golgotha and Scars Adorn the Whore in Red are blistering in their fury. At the same time, the material on Black Sun Unbound shows them polishing their approach. The tracks are shorter on this album, but they also expand on the band’s sound while still adhering to black metal orthodoxy. 

It’s very reminiscent of what Watain was doing around Lawless Darkness in terms of the melody and atmosphere that’s injected into the music. World Encirclier drips with the same kind of malevolence and sheer occult sincerity that made Sworn to the Dark so vital. In an age where any black metal needs several bells and whistles or ironic prefaces to be considered relevant, it’s refreshing to hear things done well in The Old Way™. Denouncement Pyre is on the cusp of reaching a class of black metal bands, which includes the likes of Mgla and Inquisition, that’s really giving the perception of the genre being stale a real shot in the arm. Though they might not be there just yet. There’s a few pacing issues with the album and I really find my mind wandering off around tracks 7 and 8 in particular before a couple of strong closing tracks.

The need for a little fine-tuning aside, Black Sun Unbound remains highly recommended listening if you need re-assuring of the healthy state of black metal in 2016. So get that SPF -30 sunscreen ready, the black sun has a sizzle to it.