SEAR BLISS - Glory and Perdition (RED STREAM Records CD 2004)
What an exceptional band they are! Sear Bliss is a name, which I want to be known to every black metal listener. Their albums belong to the best atmospheric BM ever recorded and such "The Grand Destiny" or "Phantoms" are mandatory titles for your collection. "Glory and Perdition" from 2004 also belongs to my favourite Sear Bliss recordings. Although the artwork brought a huge change from Kris cycle of eagle and witch, musically this album is a fantastic continuation of the best previous Sear Bliss achievements. And who knows, maybe it's even their best album, although I don't think that picking one in case of this band is even possible. There are three or four equally amazing albums in their discography, so how can we choose just one??? Impossible.
Basically, every song on this album sounds great. It's fantastic and impressive atmospheric black metal, where the balance between the dark aura, melody and the harshness of black metal is exactly as it should be. And there's a lot of dynamics and energy in this album, what makes it sound anything but not weak and boring. Whether the band speeds up and comes up with aggressive, powerful stuff or focus on bombastic, epic and monumental parts, where keyboards or the ever-amazing brass section have an important role to play – it always sounds fantastic and perfect. I may not be big fan of keyboards for example, I may not like melodic black metal too much, but Sear Bliss is in their own league and plays this stuff like no one else. They are good at it and I will be surprised if someone will not appreciate it. In songs like "Two Worlds Collide", "Birth of Eternity", "Night Journey" and "Shores of Death" the band sounds stunning and I love how the cooperation between the guitars, intense drumming, keyboard and trombone is. With the shrieking voice of Andras Nagy (who's been joined in two songs by Attila ) the music creates mystical, dark, sometimes almost cosmic aura that is impossible to resist.
Additionally, Sear Bliss music is unbelievably catchy and memorable. I do realize that it's a bit weird to think that black metal can be catchy, but these songs are fuckin MEMORABLE! It's one of those albums, which you love from start and where every song is an instant ear-catcher. They bring attention with very impressive and arrangements, filled with excellent ideas and the production is simply top-notch. All in all, there's absolutely nothing I can moan about "Glory and Perdition", and once again Sear Bliss gets 90/100 from me. They're one of my favourite atmospheric black metal bands ever!
Standout tracks: "Two Worlds Collide", "Birth of Eternity", "Night Journey", "Shores of Death"
Final rate: 90/100