Reviewed: January 2021
Released: 2020, self-released
Reviewer: Demitri Levantis
The world of symphonic death metal is one that I’ve noticed emerging from obscurity into a wider audience over the past few years, particularly with Fleshgod Apocalypse leading the way. Combining decent death metal extremities with the kind of classical musicianship you’d find on a good Euro-metal release has definitely swept across the world and been rightfully applauded.
One band who deserve said applause is the American outfit: Seraph In Travail, whose third album “A Black Death Incense”, reflects how well the genre has progressed. I for one was very taken aback by this release as I’ve never been hugely into death metal, but the symphonic counterparts in the black metal scene piqued my interest to take it up.
If you’re into the likes of Dimmu Borgir or Fleshgod then you’ll love this release. Imagine if Epica and The Black Dahlia Murder fused together all their best elements of melodic growls, machine-gun drums, jagged strings and ferocious depths and you’ll have “A Black Death Incense.”
A particular element I dislike most about the current death metal scene is the heavy reliance on breakdowns and I’m very pleased to report that barely any of those are present on this record. It had a good flow to it, flowing like a river of retribution into your earholes and pulling no punches when saying this band means business.
For those who love classical music or enjoy the works of metal musicians who are classically trained, check out this record for Seraph In Travail have it all for those sort of metal fans. Take all the precision and fortitude of an entire orchestra and get them playing dark-themed extreme metal and you will have this album. An excellent job, boys.