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Monday, February 22, 2016

Matubes - The Return of the Black Metal EP

Artist: Matubes
Release Title: The Return of the Black Metal EP
Label: Distributor of Pain
Year: 2015
Genre: Old-School Black Metal
1. War Song
2. Left Hand Path
3. Drink the Poison

The debut EP from Bulgarian black metallers Matubes offers a fine teaser of their straightforward second-wave worship into a solid explosive burst. There’s little doubt here that the band is openly playing with the same arrangements and patterns their Norwegian brethren were doing nearly two decades ago, with the only real choices here being fast up-tempo runs brimming with explosive tremolo-styled rhythms or heavy, thumping mid-tempo workouts with low-slung, raspy riffing for the most part here, and it’s only real sense of deviation comes with the unexpected inclusion of some epic-tinged vocal choirs to great effect alongside the more traditional elements. While it’s highly unlikely that’s a potential avenue of exploration for the band given the placement in one section of one song here over the overwhelming old-school influences, this one just doesn’t really offer up much of a chance to do so otherwise with the short running time.

This here is a pretty solid and to-the-point effort. Opener ‘War Song’ brings along a steady, stylish mid-tempo series of riffing with frantic up-tempo tremolo riffing and pounding drumming that races along with tight, frantic drumming carrying on throughout the explosive blasts of the final half for a solid opening effort. ‘Left Hand Path’ features a straightforward mid-tempo series of swirling tremolo riffing and blasting drumming carrying along at a steady mid-tempo pace that carries through a fine series of thumping, frantic rhythms buzzing with tremolo-laced patterns that continue through the frantic and more intense finale for the best track here. ‘Drink the Poison’ works through a frantic burst of tremolo patterns and tight drumming with a steady series of frantic rhythms carrying through the twisting mid-tempo riffing that blasts through the occasional up-tempo series of riffs while working the more epic arrangements and backing vocals into the final half for another overall enjoyable offering that ends this on a fine note.

While there’s a lot to like on display here with it’s determined old-school style, the fact that there’s just three tracks here does end up underwhelming this one considerably by featuring so few areas of
experimentation that it doesn’t really get much of a chance to showcase anything else, leaving this one only for the most devout of second-wave-worshipping aficionados.

Score: 68/100

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