Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, August 2, 2012


So today I have the pleasure of giving a full length review of Bloodmoon's debut record Orenda. Here we have a slab of pure black metal flavored with other elements ranging from jazz to death metal. This album might seem black metal at first, yet the acoustic pauses make this into something more. This record is brilliant and very varied. The guitar work is usually pretty straightforward but there are some brilliant compositions. Meanwhile the bass playing is very solid and really shines on the heavier parts. The drumming is beautiful with lots of thrilling progressions that never leave you bored. Finally, Peter Tomis' and Jason Goldie's singing is just perfect with a stellar mix of growls and more choral parts he will not fail to impress you. All in all this album has all of the brutality of a Peste Noir record with all the beauty of Alcest. This is especially true in the guitar work.

Peter Tomis is the guitar player of this group, and he proves that he is a true virtuoso. With interesting compositions and riffs that one might not normally see in black metal he makes sure that the listener is never bored. His black metal riffing is very tasty and filled with some kind of satanic power that makes everything even darker sounding. Meanwhile, on the acoustic parts Tomis proves that jazz CAN have a place in a black metal band. He shows a high level of skill at his instrument and many of his compositions remind me of Krallice. He has a fasincating ability to know when to stop playing and let the other instruments take over. One particularly good example of this is on the track As a Wind that features a break that is almost completely guitar free. He adds a lot of flavor and class to this band with his playing and makes everything very interesting. He truly “gets it”, he is one of the few men alive who can play interesting black metal guitar.

The bass work on this record is very tasty and on the heaviest riffs there is quite a bit of bass headbanging to be had. While the bassist might not have the technical aptitude of Tomis or the bands drummer, he certainly can get the job done. I particularly like the brutality of his riffing in the song Come Whatever Storm. Yet I wish he had a bit more power in the mix as he could really help make this band even heavier given the chance. The drumming is simply stellar. With a lot of drum dominated sections this album has an interesting jazz feel brought on. When the drummer gets his chance to shine my mind is simply blown away. The rhythms he makes are wonderful and very tribal seeming yet at the same time complex. In short, the drum playing is just magical and the drummer is someone to be watched.

Finally we have the vocals. With an interesting mix of very brutal black metal screams and more choral parts this band reminds me distinctly of Alcest. While the growls have a very dark sound the clean choral parts feel like rays of sunlight cracking through the bands blackened shell. Even though Bloodmoon started out as an instrumental act the vocals fit over top very well. They add a lot of flavor and majesty to the music. The lyrics are also rather excellent, with lines like “We all die/
Hear the blank need/ for Eternal Life/ Which is buried within the hope we've lost. You start to dig that Peter and Jason (the bands lyricists) are going for some pretty heavy stuff. Overall the lyrics are mentally uplifting which is interesting to hear from a Black Metal band. To finish, vocally and lyrically this album is a masterwork and quite worth checking out.

In conclusion, Orenda is a stellar album. With a black metal body that is tinged with acoustic and experimental elements this record is a very satisfying listen. The guitar playing is great and it's very interesting to hear how all the insturments interact in his epic compositions. The bass work is heavy and really shines in tracks like Orenda. The drumming is one o my favorite parts of the album, with a ton of great licks and fills he will not leave you bored. Last of all we have the vocals, the combination of growls and choral singing is fairly unique and makes the band very interesting. So, Orenda is a brilliant record and I can not wait to hear more from Bloodmoon!

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