Those curious about how Black Metal would sound under the influence of Frenchmen need to look no further. “Manifesting The Raging Beast” combines the rustic feel of traditional face painting with the studio quality and trendy nature associated with the French, and the resulting brood proves nothing short of a healthy and formidable balance between the two. The results: unconventionally clean, undeniably Black.
GLORIOR BELLI appear to ingest more than your steady Black Metal diet. The riffs blend pop with discordance and distortion to produce eight powerful tracks. The production is pristine, and Infestuus’ grim vocals rival any of the finer forefathers of Black Metal fame. In truth, however, the guitar dominates this release.
Each track has a series of bends and odd note choices that challenge traditional composition theories, and Infestuus’ blazing riffs convey the majority of the abyssal bleakness that haunts this release. M:A Fog is certainly no slouch on the drums (one listen to “Said Lucifer In Twilight” will convince any skeptics, I’m sure) and Dispater contributes several audible and complimentary bass lines, but Infestuus seems the central driver of BELLI’s songwriting and direction.
“Serpentine Admonition” offers some exceptional passages where the vocals and guitar accompany each other in a manner that others in the genre simply don’t seem to get. The eeriness projected in this track has a semblance that only a front-man guitarist can provide, and few Black Metal artists have provided a finer track for comparison in recent years.
One peculiarity on this release rests in the solo toward the conclusion of the last recording’s concluding track. “Altered Verses” by no means represents the strongest track on the release, but its solo (the only one found on “Manifesting The Raging Beast”) merits close inspection. Simply put: it does not belong, but it belongs. The broken conventions (pristine studio quality and Indie-Pop patterns blended with discordance) and the overwhelming strength of the release prove that GLORIOR BELLI can buck the system and still put out quality material, and therefore why not conclude with a solo? Infestuus’ playing is far from piss poor and with a few intentional flares this seems an appropriate conclusion to a commendable release.
(Online August 19, 2007)