Vergelmer - _Light the Black Flame_
(Cacophonous, 1997)
by: Drew Snow (8 out of 10)
Now that retro metal is and has been in full swing for some time, it's nice to see a band that is following an -old- trend, for once. No, Vergelmer don't deserve such sarcasm, because, although fitting quite nicely into the melodic black metal mold, they do it -extremely- well. If you've ever heard anything of this kind (Dissection, some older Marduk, Naglfar, The Darksend, etc.), then you know exactly what to expect. Mostly fast songs (although Vergelmer have a few longer mid-paced sections as well) with predominantly high-pitched, melodic guitars and throatily rasped vocals dominate the material here, with some acoustic parts thrown in for good measure. Myself being a huge fan of this style (an understatement), I have a hard time finding much wrong with _Light the Black Flame_; there're no real serious detractors that ruin the pure listening enjoyment. However, there are a couple of things that do dampen the experience a bit: for one, sometimes the songs are just too damned long and repetitive. What starts off as a kick-ass track quickly turns tedious when the same section is repeated over and over, especially annoying with the mid-paced songs. Also, just as mentioned before, _LtBF_ is completely and totally derivative of all preceding it, there's not an original concept to be found here. No surprises, no experimentation. Vergelmer give you what you expect, and don't go much further. That said, if sharply produced, well-played, melodic black metal is your craving, Verlgelmer is where it's at.

(article published 17/11/1997)

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