The Hungarians of SEAR BLISS have been in the scene for 12 years already and their debut “Phantoms” hails from the year 1996, back then making quite some waves, as they incorporated a trumpet into their melodic, yet still heavy Black Metal. Back then as today they have been a band that just would not fit into the common patterns and neither managed to break through commercially nor receive the acknowledgement as “cult” band, yet they never let these facts deter them and they keep on walking their own path, unaffected.
The Szombathely-based band takes a foundation of at times quite cold Black Metal and builds their very own scaffold upon it, which has a measuredness and epicism, musically realised with the experience of six albums, with a trombone as equal partner in the musical equation. The great Verwimp cover (one tradition the band has kept ever since its debut) is a herald of what awaits us inside, on the one hand epic, on the other with a ravaging quality, also fully in tradition of the previous eposes, once more establishing SEAR BLISS as a band that stands head and shoulders above the usual “paint by numbers” Black Metal bands that desperately try to follow the genre leaders, yet in the end fail miserably.
The opener “Birth Of Eternity“ is an equally atmospheric and aggressive attack on the senses, on the one hand very epic and melodic, but on the other with powerful double-bass and blastbeats and the trombone as accent, after which they give the listener a chance to catch his breath with the calm interlude “Reverie”, which leads into the thunderstorm “Night Journey“, which breaks through the tranquil atmosphere with thundering blastbeats, but in the course of the song delivers fat, powerful double-bass and never loses its melodies and epic elements, of course again with the trombone, which also makes “Two Worlds Collide” something truly special.
And as if that was not enough yet, SEAR BLISS have yet another absolute highlight on offer: “Blood Serenade“. This monster of a track erects an incredibly majestic atmosphere, brooding, but highly melodic, slow-paced and still cleverly varying its intensity, most probably one of the best songs of the Magyars so far. Oh yes, on the songs “Birth Of Eternity” and “Shores Of Death” Attila Csihar of MAYHEM fame lent his vocals as well.
The production of Viktor Scheer and singer András Nagy is clear and powerful and successfully enhances the majesty of the compositions, while the booklet of Gyula Havancsák is atmospheric art at its best and without a doubt is the icing on the cake of one of the most melodic masterpieces in the stable of Red Stream Records. SEAR BLISS have been and still are one of the most original bands in Black Metal and deserve to be finally discovered. (Online May 17, 2005)