Hell yeah. This debut album of this French instrumental band starts off with some kick-ass metal! If you decide to start a band with no vocalist, it means you need to have some instrumental guts and gifts. The band seems to have both.
Opener No Cure (For Fools) shows the heavy heart of the band, with quite a doom feel at the centre and a intriguing rhythm section. Title song Blackened Visions dares to break the heaviness and starts with a quiet, more progressive/stoner sound, building up slowly, adding more instruments and sound by the minute. It makes clear that the band knows how to handle a song structure that is fragile enough to make you curiously uncomfortable and on the other hand let it end just before you start missing some vocals here and there. The end of the song is almost funny, ending with one single note after building op the tension in your own muscles…
Third song on this album, IMereMortal combines both styles in a nice way, bringing the heavier tone back, but still leaning heavy on progressive metal.
And just when I think the combination of doom/sludge/progressive is just fine, the fourth song, Salvation, starts. Where at the start of the album I did miss a vocalist, at this point I even wonder why a band would have one. And no kidding, fifth song Dra Till Helvete even spins it out better. Wonderful melody, heavy riffs after a terrifying build-up. Halfway the song takes a break and takes the path of doom, and then taking a shortcut back to progression. The end of the song sounds a bit lame to me, especially for a band that makes nice song endings. Why fade out?
Luckily we are all ready and set to go for the last song, Mah Song (Horses of God), that starts off where we began: heavy sound that uplifts the soul. The second part of the song is in my opinion a bit long, taking a bit too long with a stoner-like ending, and the fade out makes the album finish with an anti-climax. Starting with song number one again gats you totally back on track though!
In short, this album is full of refreshing, yet familiar sounding music that combines progressive metal with doom and stoner/sludge sounds. A great debut.