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Glorior Belli – Seasick Blues for Satan

Glorior Belli - "Meet Us at the Southern Sign"

Glorior Belli – “Meet Us at the Southern Sign” (Candlelight Records, 2009)

One thing has been missing from Pitch Black Brigade’s musing on Black Metal: The Dark One, Lucifer, the inspiration for the genre. Why? The whole Satan thing is pretty boring.  I guess at the end of the day I have a hard time thinking of grown men (and it’s always men for some reason) painted up like giant sweaty panda bears in “corpse paint,” yelling about how they serve their Dark Overlord as anything but joke.  Can you take song titles like “Satanic Black Metal in Hell,” “Goatcraft Torment,” and “Through the Grace of Hell” seriously? I can’t. I am, however, going to redress this imbalance today and tackle a true Black Metal – in every sense of the word – record: Glorior Belli‘s monstrous 2009 missive “Meet Us at the Southern Sign.

Quick – what European country is churning out the most interesting and diverse Black Metal right now? Norway, right? Wrong. The correct answer is France. Yes, that’s right, France – home to berets, baguettes, soft cheeses, Bernard Hinault, Sartre and Godard – is the epicenter for innovative and thrilling Black Metal, including shoegaze Black Metal critical darlings, Alcest, and the mind-blowing metal label, A Season of Mist. And you can add Glorior Belli to this list.

Glorior Belli crawled out of  the “temperamental suburbs of Paris in December 2002” to play what they call a mixture of “Blues and Southern Rock textures with the brutal, ominous, doom-laden vibe typical of Black Metal.”**  So what does it add up to? Black Metal blues played at seasick, lurching tempos.

Meet Us at the Southern Sign” is their second album. It is also one of the best records I have heard during the past few years. What makes it so great?  It’s sounds as if Lightnin’ Hopkins sold his soul to a Satanic Greg Ginn (of the immortal Black Flag) and decided to head to Europe and play some metal or James Blood Ulmer decided he was Captain Black Metal instead of Captain Black (welcome to the only Black Metal review in the history of humankind that has mentioned Blood Ulmer). Glorior Belli is blues for Satan. Don’t believe me?  Check out this Twilight Zone-like, drunken “Dancing Days” by Led Zeppellin riff:

Glorior Belli – “Swamp that Shame” – “Meet Us at the Southern Sign“:


Or this one – Glorior Belli – “There Is but One Light” from “Meet Us at the Southern Sign“:


It sounds like an unhinged (but better recorded) Flipper if Flipper owed their allegiance to Satan.

Normally I would have a hard time recommending anything I’ve reviewed on Pitch Black Brigade to my friends, the friends I have spent a lifetime engaged in a conversation about music with – Jimmy, Danny, Randy and William, because most of this stuff will be forgotten in the next 5 to 10 years. But not this album.  It is unlike anything other Black Metal out there. Get it and have your mind blown.

*http://www.gloriorbelli.com/biography, accessed 11.26.10 at 4:12 p.m.

**http://www.myspace.com/gloriorbelli, accessed 11.26.10 at 4:18 p.m.

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