Released: 2013, Glorious North Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
The days of tape trading are long gone, and the rise of the Internet has led to many bands being accessible across the globe to anyone that cares to listen. Harking from the days of the cassette is Vesterian, a four piece straight to the point black metal band from California, America. Starting up at the height of America’s satanic moral panic, these four are rising straight out of the fires of hell itself, promoting death, war and hatred for all that breathe and walk the earth.
Anthems for the Coming Age of War has been twelve years in the writing, starting the process in 2001. With so many years of refinement, you may expect this to be a masterpiece, the perfect killing machine ready to snap the neck of anyone brave enough to take it on. Unfortunately, I found this more of a black metal by numbers record. All the ingredients are there but what it really lacks is any heart or genuine malice. Although evil is the intention, I don’t actually feel genuinely threatened by this record, there’s no enticing dark power that calls me to join the ranks of a chaotic and malevolent army or magical spell that entices me back.
Like any album, there are some real highlights running through it. Particularly in Morax gates pt.2 where a deep voice calls over higher guitar soloing. The nostalgic buzz of classic fantasy films rings through these sections and conjures up the perfect imagery to compliment the music. The problem with this album is that so many before them have done traditional black metal about wizards and sorcery, and perhaps moving into something different may have laid a fresh angle on the already worn and soiled fantasy theme, but the choice to stick to the classic black metal sound simply recalls the gimmicky reputation it has adopted in recent years.
In a time where black metal has become more innovative than ever, this band are emphasizing a return to the old ways. Although there is nothing wrong with traditionalism, it has to be exceptional, and there’s nothing inspiring about this album that lifts it out the masses. It falls into the cracks of the average black metal album.
Perhaps it’s simply the length of time that they have been playing that hold them there, but these guys were definitely made for an older time. A time where tapes enabled a half heard scream to echo from the speakers and blended, distorted madness to fill the ears of young metaller everywhere.
Review by Caitlin Smith