Released: 2002, Independent
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
A quick glance among the pages of the internet reveals far more information regarding the Celtic horned god Cernunnos than the underground symphonic black metal band hailing from Georgia. In fact, it seems that the only details that can be found about the band are that guitarist/bassist Adina Blase, also of Benighted, previously played in Acheron and Lilitu, and session vocalist Joseph Demoniaque also contributed to Benighted and Dreams of the Perverse.
Cernunnos! is a project of Adina Blase (Benighted, ex-Acheron, ex-Lilitu), and Craig Vogel with some session musicians contributing to the recording. On THE BEAST, the band’s first and only EP, we have five tracks of mid-paced symphonic black metal with some slight folk influences. Though the symphonic aspects of bands such as Dimmu Borgir and Old Man’s Child are apparent, I enjoy Cernunnos’ style much more because they do not fall back on a stream of blastbeats and thin, grind riffs. Rather, I hear more old Cruachan, maybe some bits and pieces of old Opera IX in the mix than the aforementioned Norwegian bands. The guitars, too, focus more on a slower, folkier, and more epic style than is typical for most symphonic bands.
The first three songs on THE BEAST are new recordings for the EP, while the last two tracks appeared as THE HORNED ONE two-track demo from 2001. On THE BEAST, you get several lengthy songs “Cry of Haro,” “Battle Hymn of the Motherland,” and Cernunnos,” a shorter, but even more epic “Perpetual Avalon,” and a nice keyboard instrumental in “Beltane Sonata.”
Other than a two-track demo, this EP is the only recording by this band, and with no apparent activity since 2002, no official website, and now other news from their camp, unfortunately, this band remains missing, presumed dead.
While Adina has a great concept of melody and utilizes the keyboards quite well to create the ambient and symphonic effect, I feel that they may predominate just a little too much, overpowering the guitars in some places. Overall, however, the thirty minutes of music offered on this EP is well worth your effort if you are a fan of symphonic black metal or folk metal.