Setherial - _Death Triumphant_
(Regain Records, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (
Three years have passed since Setherial last graced us with their po-faced presence on _Endtime Divine_, and in that period it hasn't exactly been plain sailing for the Norwegian quintet, what with continued line-up difficulties and all. On the face of things at least, they appear to have weathered the storms for the time being; and so, armed with a new vocalist (Infaustus) and a new bass player (Funestus Inferis), they've returned with album number six.Claiming to be a more versatile and diverse outing than its predecessors, the band crank up _Death Triumphant_'s atmosphere to a suitably frostbitten level on songs like "With Veins Wide Open" -- a slow, brooding number built around a subtle synth line and cloaked in the Abyss Studio's always reliable sonance. The big let-down, however, is that these moments of latent genius only seem to spring to the fore in fits and starts. For the better part of its duration, _Death Triumphant_ reeks of typical mid-Nineties black metal formulae. Rather than concentrate on their strengths, the band seem adamant to outdo Marduk in bombastic Scandinavian aggression, and despite their best efforts, one can't help but feel slightly underwhelmed by it all -- not least of all because it's a style that Setherial have pulled off with a greater panache themselves in years gone by.
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