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Dark in Glory
Released: 2004, Independent
Reviewer: Michael De Los Muertos
DARK IN GLORY is Evilheart’s first official release, but this band from Culiacan, Mexico has been around for a few years, slowly making their way to the top of the Mexican black/death metal scene. Although few people outside of Mexico are familiar with them, DARK IN GLORY certainly seems intent on changing that!
Evilheart is a very solid band with exceptional musical talent. They take their sweet time opening the album with the long intro “Prelude to Rebirth,” but the first substantial song, “In Other Lands,” showcases their blistering style that seems to cull together elements from death, black and thrash metal. Guitar riffs gallop, and songs are studded with acrobatic, almost 80s-style solos, but the pounding assault and ice-cold evil keep the listener rooted firmly in brutal/extreme metal territory. Like some of my favorite death metal bands (Dismember, Morbid Angel), there is a fair amount of melody buried under layers of aggression, and each song is an interesting experience for the listener to synthesize. There are some genuinely brilliant passages in many songs, such as the melodic riff section at about 1:10 into “Lycanthropic Possession,” and the slow bass opening of “Umarth” that segues into a crunchy thrash-like riff, or the entire epic “Buried In Ice” that ties together several different movements into a unified whole. From beginning to end DARK IN GLORY never gets dull and the band never sits on their laurels afraid to push the envelope a little bit.
All the band members play very well and work together as a team, which is unfortunately not as common as it should be in newer bands especially in this genre. Vocalist César Bañuelos isn’t the most dimensional singer, and he approaches most of the material with a standard textbook black metal screech. But vocals generally aren’t emphasized on most of the tracks, instead treating us to the considerable skill of guitarist Ricardo Salazar and bassist Sergio Aréchiga. The drummer, Rodolfo Rogers, is excellent, and indeed the drum lines seem to form the spines of most of the songs. For an independent disc coming out of Mexico, the production on DARK IN GLORY is exceptional. In short there’s very little not to like about this album!
Evilheart have definitely arrived, and on the strength of this debut I’m certain we’ll see more of them. If this level of quality continues through their subsequent releases, it’s likely Evilheart will shortly join Cenotaph and Makina on the list of memorable Mexican extreme metal bands.
1. Prelude to Rebirth
2. In Other Lands
3. Lycanthropic Possession
5. The Black Chasm
6. Dark in Glory
7. Buried in Ice
8. Ice Sword Revenge
César Bañuelos – vocals
Ricardo Salazar – guitar
Sergio Aréchiga – bass
Rodolfo Rogers – drums
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