Blaze of Perdition: Conscious Darkness
Polish black metal outfit Blaze of Perdition returns with a furious and cathartic etude of black metal induced darkness.
The fourth album from Blaze of Perdition begins with Lenny Belardo's quote from Paolo Sorrentino's The Young Pope series: "Everyone must learn that it takes sacrifice and suffering to find God. It's too easy to come to terms with God as the sun is setting. They have to find Him in the cold and the dark of night. The way I did." Nothing is given, everything must be taken. That is the motto that dictates the direction of Blaze of Prediction's music, and it has been the case since the early releases of Towards the Blaze of Perdition and The Hierophant, which paved the way to the excellent Near Death Revelations.
Blaze of Perdition
Release Date: 3 Nov 2017
The group's third full-length was the turning point for the Polish act, signaled by the tragic road accident that caused the death of bassist Ikaroz, while severely injuring vocalist S. and drummer Vizun. The title of that record spoke to this experience and forced them to look straight into the existential abyss, resulting in an album that had more depth, with the structures moving away from the short burst of anger duration and into a long-form piece of composition. That direction is further explored with the follow-up record Conscious Darkness, as the band moves into a dimmer corner of their creativity in order to reach a final catharsis.
The long-form compositions of the band have bloomed even further on Conscious Darkness, presenting four tracks all passing the eight-minute mark. Liberated from the bounds of having to pass a direct message within the span of a three- or four-minute track, Blaze of Perdition naturally follow the progression of their songs, featuring all the different modes their blend of black metal encompasses. Melody and grandeur, stunning melancholic lead work that meets head-on with a dissonant edge and eerie quality, all while brutal explosions and direct assaults are initiated. Fluid pacing accompanies this narrative, with the band diving into a more processional pace or a heavy groove part initiated by the classic Celtic Frost-ian death grunt.
The lead work is the catalytic aspect of the record, capable not only of exploring the full range, from melody to dissonance, but also unleashing absolute hooks, as in the lead parts of "A Glimpse of God", or adding a level of variation to the black metal forms. Frenzied solos make an appearance, or sorrowful leads come to the fold, as the band enhances the impact the various parts bring. That is where Blaze of Perdition's slight experimentalism comes into play. Without venturing far outside of the outskirts of black metal, they can make things more interesting with the inclusion of some intriguing guitar parts bleeping away in the cold distance, or through ambient passages that separate Conscious Darkness from your run of the mill black metal record. However, the most interesting addition is the clean vocal delivery in "Ashes Remain" on top of the stripped-down instrumentation and the slight dark rock tone, not unlike Celtic Frost's opus "Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh" from Monotheist. It constructs a towering moment of perpetual darkness.
Conscious Darkness is a bleak record that vividly illuminates the concept of death, a meditation on one's suffering and eventual downfall. But, despite the overall pessimistic perspective, highlighted in the chorus of "Ashes Remain", there is some catharsis to be found. It all returns full cycle to Belardo's quote, which might contain a harsh message, signaling a process of pain and torture for one to reach some grand truth, to find God, in his case. With Blaze of Perdition, the spiritual aspect does not seem to be focusing on uncovering the hidden force responsible for our existence, but rather reaching a state of catharsis through painful endeavors. A moment of clarity after a devastating storm. As the guitar lead and clean vocals of closer "Detachment Brings Serenity", the band closes the chapter by seemingly finding some solace through this taxing process.