Album: The Offering of Seven
Label: Terror of Hell Records
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: September 21st, 2018
Black metal has evolved over the years. Going from chaotic blast beats and dissonant guitars to beautiful melodies and eerie atmosphere, the genre has expanded into new territories. That being said, it can be difficult finding a unique approach to a style of music that can so easily slip into being cliché.
Gnosis try to offer something different with The Offering of Seven. Instead of going for blistering speed and walls of sound, it’s swapped out for more groove oriented music.
One of the things this album does well is blending its black metal aesthetic with its thrash metal influence. Look no further than “Hand of The Fates” and it starts off with an intro that would be right at home in a 1980s thrash record. Even a song like “Golden Wings” still feels thrashy with its triplet feel.
Another standout for me on this record was “Transcendance Pt. 1”. It is a beautiful, folky, instrumental track that is short, sweet and to the point. This track captures the atmosphere that the band was trying to go for. It’s simple, and while it might not be anything new, it is executed really well. This is a great moment on this album and I would love to see more music like this.
While I enjoy hearing cover songs, I am always skeptical when they are placed in the middle of the album. Truth be told, not only is this a decent cover, it fits in its placing on the album. Gotta give props to the band for givinig a consistent feel to the album and for a cover track that goes with the flow. The song even feels a tad more evil than the original, which is always appreciated.
While there were some highlights on this album, there was a lot that didn’t go right. The “Intro” track offered some promise to where the album would be going, but the opening guitar line of the next track “Devils And Spirits”, while catchy, changed the atmosphere of the album. Instead of being a dark, occult-like feeling that the intro track promised, it takes on a more groovy, black n’ roll feeling.
Like I mentioned in the beginning, this album tries to change the typical black metal style by slowing things down and including an element of groove. While I praise the band for trying something new and not falling into clichés, this doesn’t exactly work with me on this record. Songs like “Devils And Spirits” and “Dark King On The Mount” try too hard to slow things down and all it does is drag the songs longer than they need to be and rapidly lose my attention. This isn’t the whole album as it is broken up with their more thrash-like songs.
Another element that just didn’t work out well was the use of synths. I get that they were going for more ethereal style by utilizing them, but it just clashed too hard to make it work. Going back to “Dark King On The Mount” again, the middle section tries to establish itself with a unique guitar lick, but the focus drifts to the synth that happens in the background. It’s a similar deal with “Golden Wings” as well. The heaviness of the song is undermined by the use of keyboards. Don’t get me wrong, I love synths and atmospheric music. I just feel that it didn’t work well with these songs.
Also, the “Outro” track did not close the album out on a great note. Trying to capture the same dark atmosphere that opened the album, that is all immediately gone with the incredibly distracting and annoying crying baby that is in there. I don’t know why it’s there or what purpose the crying served, but it totally killed the outro track.
While there were a lot of things wrong with this album, I can’t say it was all terrible. The thrash elements were great and “Transcendence Pt. 1” was the best moment on the album. Even the vocals were done well. They may not have had a huge range, but it fit within the context of the music. The album is very rough around the edges, but with a little more time refining skills, they might be able to improve in their next effort. But for now, there isn’t a whole lot to be excited about.
2. Devils And Spirits
3. Hand of The Fates
4. Dark King of The Mount
5. Golden Wings
6. Transcendence Pt. 1
7. Evil Spirit (Running Wild Cover)
8. The Great Storm
Total Play Time: 34:26