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Monday, March 3, 2014
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Although having been founded as far back as 1998, this Trondheim based Norwegian Melodic Black Metal act is only at its 3rd full-length, due to an hiatus taken between 2004 and 2007. That hiatus was due to two members (session singer Thebon and drummer Vegard 'Vyl' Larsen taking priority time with their other band, Keep Of Kalessin.

I'm quite uncertain of what line-up trubbles the band had during the first part of the new millennium, but as I understand things, the band was originated by former Hinn Mesta and Eyrashion singer/ guitarist Jonas 'Arcan' Moen and Kristian 'Celtus' Moen, and with the latter handling bass, keyboards and drums, a 3-track demo entitled Chemical Bastard was recorded and released in 2000. This got the duo a deal with Evil Horde Records, and to record the full-length Dark Prophecies, the duo enlisted the help of violinist/ female singer Tora Noss, clean singer Torbjörn Schei (also known as Thebon, then having tenures with Twinsoul and Powdr on his activities sheet) and guitarist Sverre Bernsten (then still with Bloodthorn). For live work, the duo had already worked with Mikael Duna (now formerly of Gaia Epicus, currently with Hellstorm), whom left in 2001 to be replaced with Keep Of Kalessin's Vegar 'Vyl' Larsen in 2002. And here's where some controversy about the line-up's timeline comes into play. You see, some sources put the album down as having been released in 2001, other say 2003. But the sources I tapped into definitely put Vyl down as the album's drummer. And so with no precise detail to set the record straight, I'd rather not get any deeper into it!

At any rate, the outfit next recorded the 4-track EP Dark Side Of You, which was released on an independent basis in 2004, and soon after Thebon was recruited into Keep Of Kalessin, a band which was finding its activities increase along with its popularity. What with Vyl also active as founding drummer of Antares Predator, he really didn't have enough time left to also spend time on Subliritum, which was therefore put on hiatus.

In 2007 then, the Moen brothers, along with Berntsen, decided to re-activate the band with a slightly different line-up: out was Noss, and Arcan took over lead vocals. Additionally, Dag Leistad Müller was enlisted as third guitarist, and Vyl returned to the drum seat. This outfit released the 3-track Promo in 2008, and were eventually contracted by Australian label Battlegod Productions. A first installment of that deal saw the light of day three years ago in the form of the band's sophomore album A Touch Of Death (a review for which, done by longtime colleague Ivan, was posted on 21/07/2011 – you can still find it in this website's “Archive” section!), with guest vocals of old bandmate Thebon, as well as contributions of Vebjörn Moen (whom had already contributed tenor guest vocals on Dark Prophecies) and Stephen Carlson (not sure what that guys antecedents are!).

The new album finds a continuation of the previous one's core line-up of Moen-Moen-Berntsen-Müller-Larsen, and a further refinement of the style of old, mixing progressive Thrash elements elements with Technical Death Metal and brutal Black Metal for a mixture of which is both bombastically heavy ànd epic! Melody and brutality gathered in one; beauty and ugliness entwined with each other in a very fluent dance! I've browsed the Internet somewhat, and the only material off the new album consists of samples put together in album trailers posted in the video subsection in the “Band Profile” at (www.) Also available there, is the A Touch Of Death song “No Tomorrow” (and the possibility to listen to 30-second samples of all other songs on that album are made available in the “MusicStore” section of the facebook page). The band also has a MySpace page which I was unable to check, so maybe that's what you oughta do next. At any rate, you should be able to find a page on the album at one of your trusted online sales sites...and those usually provide 30-second samples!

Great stuff, and in certain ways worthy of a nomination for my “Best Albums Of 2014” lists!