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Glorior Belli complete the change from black metal to southern sludge with “Blackpowder Roars”


Do Glorior Belli even count as black metal anymore? Their transformation from French black metal to Louisiana sludge metal started with the excellent Meet Us At The Southern Sign, and continued on into 2011’s good but somewhat scattered The Great Southern Darkness. From the sounds of it, their newest album Gators Rumble Chaos Unfurls completes that transmogrification. A new song from that album debuted recently, giving us the first taste of what has become of the French black metallers.

Blackpowder Roars” does retain a small amount of the band’s blackened roots, but for all intents and purposes, Glorior Belli are now playing a sickened and virulent form of sludge metal, the likes of which lurk deep in the bayous of Louisiana.

And it sounds great. The band have clearly spent time working on their formula, as each instrument seems to be operating on its own while working perfectly with the others. The bassline is thick and goopy, while the guitar riff is heavy and roiling. The pentatonic blues solo really lends a dusty air to this track, enhanced by the lean, mean drum work. J’s vocals sound like he’s having his skin chewed off by gators, but the occasional clean voice does appear, serving to remind me a bit of Phil Anselmo in Down. Halfway through, the song kicks into another gear, spitting out a riff that could be in place on a Church of Misery album, with J roaring hellfire over top the whole time. It is one infernal ride.

My one complain about this song is that it is too short, at just under three minutes. I’m all for a band not overstaying its welcome, but this time it feels like they’re understaying it. Of course, the album will offer a lot more, so look forward to that when it comes out on October 29th.

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