Legacy of Evil
Limbonic Art, "Legacy of Evil"
I'll be honest... this is my first exposure to Limbonic Art. Despite being nearly universally revered by black metal fans, I've always been a little turned off by the symphonic black metal tag given to these Norwegians. Their 2002 breakup after The Ultimate Death Worship was another factor in their slipping on my "need-to-check-them-out" priority list. But as of late I've been finding more and more black metal that I like and in particular, my love for Sigh's symphonic work inspired me to give this a try. Well... looks like I've got some releases I need to chase down.
First, if you have a preconceived idea of symphonic black metal go ahead and toss it in the shred bin. It's not that Legacy of Evil is a boundary pusher so much as it isn't a bombastic display of gothic homoertoicism, which is what the symphonic black metal tag brings to my mind. Instead, Limbonic Art are all about furious, swirling riffing with sharp melodic underpinnings. The synths are buried for the most part which works well as the listener has to strain a bit to cut through the noisy riffing in order to unlock their subtle majesty.
Aside from the brilliant synth work, you can expect the typical melodic black metal hallmarks of blazing drum work, nearly inaudible bass, epically sweeping guitars, though their use of blistering, razor-sharp riffing gives the sound a little more menace than most similar albums. There are a lot of subtle variances and interesting little injections that make themselves evident with repeated listens as well, which makes for great replay value.
I'm really glad Daemon and Morpheus decided to give it another go because the genres two biggest names (Demon Burger and Cradle of 13-Year Old Goth Girls) are basically comedy for most of the metal scene and my personal favorite, Emperor are no more and abandoned the symphonic sound long before their demise. Legacy of Evil isn't going to replace their back catalog, but its a very worthy addition especially considering the state of the symphonic black metal scene.