Glorior Belli- Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Agonia Records has really put together a heavy hitting fall schedule, with albums from bands like Temple of Baal, Glorior Belli, Code, and Ephel Duath all set for November. I already found Temple of Baal’s newest to be a killer effort, and now I’ve set my sights on Glorior Belli’s new album Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls. The group has transformed from a more traditional black metal band into a combination of black metal, southern/stoner rock, and blues that had a feel of its own. For those who have heard the band’s last full length The Great Southern Darkness from 2011, this effort should feel like a natural progression that ups the grooves even further and it is sure to make an instant impression.

What is immediately clear from Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls is that Glorior Belli has become even more comfortable with letting mid-tempo and fast paced grooves completely dominate their arrangements. This was starting to happen on The Great Southern Darkness, but since the group first began to shift stylistically I have always felt that they would retreat back towards some of black metal’s traditional elements. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the combination of bluesy riffs and intense black metal sections worked quite well together and helped to make the material memorable. But I feel as though this time around the instrumentalists have taken the next logical step forward, stretching out the grooves further than before and offering even catchier riffs from one moment to the next. What’s particularly interesting is that the first song Glorior Belli chose to release to the public was “I Asked For Wine, He Gave Me Blood” is one of the few where the instrumentalists head back into traditional black metal territory, blasting away at the listener for a good period of time before transitioning back into a slower section. Based upon this song some of you may have been thinking that the group really hadn’t changed that much, but dive deeper into the rest of material and you’ll discover that definitely isn’t the case. I’ve really enjoyed listening to this one from beginning to end, as the lead riffs on almost every single track have enough hooks to keep me wanting to give them just one more listen. Glorior Belli has taken another leap forward, as the songwriting ensures the blues, stoner/southern rock, and black metal elements are even further intertwined than before and there are even more standout moments.

Lead singer J. has experimented with a wide range of vocal styles over the years, even trying a wider range of clean pitches on his 11 as in Adversaries side project. For the majority of Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls J. sticks with his harsher scream that continues to give the material that rawer edge, but he does head back into cleaner territory on several occasions. I had started to notice this on the band’s last album, but it’s even more apparent this time around that J.’s venture into cleaner ranges has gotten much stronger in recent years and he sounds much more comfortable performing them. Although I still prefer the harsher screams as I feel they add the amount of bite that Glorior Belli’s music needs, the additional pitches do help to break things up and help some of the tracks stick out just a bit more overall.

Glorior Belli has been one of those bands that have won me over from one album to the next, and each time I think that they may have hit a peak with the current stylistic combination they are going for they continue to prove me wrong. Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls is closer to stoner rock/metal and blues than ever before, but there is still just enough of a black metal slant in the tonality and vocal delivery to hint at how they sounded early on. I’ve been listening to this one for about two days straight now and the riffs are still just as entrancing as they were the first time around, making this effort another one of the year’s highlights. It has been exciting to watch this band progress and further refine their sound, and they have reached a point where the harsh bite and softer grooves are perfectly in sync.

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