Review Summary: A surprisingly mature sounding first demo from an American black metal band
Petrychor are an American acoustic folk black metal band somewhat reminiscent of Canada’s SIG:AR:TYR but with a heavier penchant towards muddy, atmospheric black metal. The band’s 3 song demo can be downloaded free of charge (or for a donation) on their website: [url]http://petrychor.bandcamp.com/[/url]
The demo starts off with some nice folky chords before giving way to a melodic, yet frenzied attack of black metal riffs. The black metal parts of the album take heavy influence from the glory days of the 90’s, combining heavily distorted, tremolo picked chords with fierce blast beats. The guitar chords often have a slightly more melodic sound to them than the average black metal riff which complements the folky breaks nicely. The band will often add an unexpected, but well placed, lead riff or even a solo to the muddy mess. The leads are often also tremolo picked and complement the atmospheric fuzz of the guitars. Meanwhile, the solos show a surprising amount of skill for a band of this genre and manage to meld themselves right into the surrounding noise and sound perfectly in place.
Also, the band seems to have already mastered the use of the keyboard in black metal. It is played very low in the mix, almost to the point of being inaudible. This allows it to almost merge with the guitar chords and empowers the general sound that is being played. This adds to the surprising maturity of this young band (especially considering the genre they are playing in).
Petrychor make quite a surprising addition to 2010’s list of positives but a welcome one nonetheless. If the band follows this up with a full length of the same quality, it could easily be a contender for 2010’s top black metal spot.