W.E.B. - Tartarus - (8.5/10)
Published on December 3, 2017
Greece’s W.E.B. play Symphonic Black Metal in the vein of heavyweights like Septicflesh, Rotting Christ and Dimmu Borgir. W.E.B. Formed in 2002, Tartarus is only their fourth album. W.E.B. taking their time about their work pays off, as Tartarus shows a band more than capable of going toe to toe with those genre legends.
Symphonic Metal is a complex beast. With so many parts to bring together, the focus can sometimes be on deploying the many instruments to the detriment of the songwriting, but this is a trap Tartarus evades with apparent ease.
Skipping straight to the best bit, “I, The Bornless” is an obvious contender for Tartarus‘ finest track, its a dramatic, grandiose symphonic section contrasting brilliantly with the blasting heaviness of the verses and great thrashy guitars. It’s this drama delivered by the orchestral elements that really lifts the music on Tartarus. Even an out-and-out heavy song such as the title track with it’s aggressive chants and simple, in-your-face chorus is raised several notches by the additional of horns, operatic female backing vocals and nice lead guitar.
“Dragona” is another great, memorable song, boasting an excellent slower chorus, along with bombastic horns and stirring synths.
The album climaxes with the three-part “Thanatos”. The first part, “Golgotha” is adequate, but suffers as it lacks the drama that lifts much of W.E.B.’s music. “Epitaphios” brings back the theatrics and has a bit of everything, including a big choir, harp and guest vocals from Septicflesh’s Sotiris Vayenas. This all comes together superbly and as a result, is a major improvement on its predecessor. Final part “Mnemosynon” delivers more of the same, minus Vayenas and the harp, with a big, pompous and satisfying ending.
W.E.B. play Symphonic Black Metal with the emphasis very much on the symphonic. They can do fast and heavy, but are their best when they slow things down a shade and let the orchestral parts share centre stage. Tartarus is highly recommended and fans of Septicflesh, Rotting Christ, Dimmu Borgir, etc should find plenty to suit their tastes here.