Review Summary: Jordablod keeps up and evolves with another wonderful offering.
One of the first things I noticed when I learned about the second full length by Jordablod, was the curious album title, which in my head would make more sense if the last word was in plural, "songs". Not being the one that would intervene in such a matter, all other aspects of the release were exciting news, as the band showed great signs of promise with their debut Upon My Cremation Pyre in 2017, a worthy record of what might become bigger in the future, Skånish black metal. A term that also comes together with their more personal sound, making them at least recognizable among other underground bands in this day and age, which is a notable characteristic of a band whether they deliver or not.
Jordablod's The Cabinet of Numinous Song ought to fill some expectations, mainly because of the solid face they have shown in the past as one of the newcomer bands to check out these years. Thankfully, the record is no misstep, but in fact a well written, pumped with energy banger with a lot of twists and turns to keep the listener hooked to their place for a while.
With a clearly natural sound, the band exploits the intensity of fast paced black metal and blends it with some eerie clean guitar passages in slower tempos, which sometimes have their roots not very close to the interludes usually used in the genre, but in a deranged person's mind, would feel closer to hard rock or dark country, as something well completely out of hand during a Woven Hand recording session. This feeling undulates during the calmer moments of The Cabinet of Numinous Song, which is generally fairly powerful when it comes to the atmosphere it creates. Once again, Jordablod focus on English titles and one of them in Swedish, a tactic also used in Upon My Cremation Pyre. The production provides a rich sound, and the balance between the heavier parts of the album works perfectly. It is fortunate that they have avoided clean vocals, as the screaming vocals are remarkable, especially when Jordablod go all out with aggressiveness. The Cabinet of Numinous Song opens with a highlight track "A Grand Unveilling", serving as a darker and heftier Cobalt introduction, and it gives a rounded idea on the unusual patterns of Jordablod for the album.
Building on that, "The Two Wings of Becoming" and "Hin ondes mystär" are equally astonishing tunes, driven by epic melodies and haunting guitar lines, the latter being a major plus in The Cabinet of Numinous Song. Most of the guitar work is beautiful, and the riffs come and go like crazy, showing Jordablod's confidence in more traditional black metal patterns, but also ideas of their own. This tool is valuable but also cuts out the negative side of the record, which lies towards the end, with "Blood and Rapture", and the self-titled instrumental. Only that moment is to me, the underwhelming part to the whole record, for the fact that the compositions especially in "Blood and Rapture" are slightly more inspiriting and a bit out of place of the coherence of the previous tracks. While you will be rewarded by another glorious song at the end, with the closing number "To Bleed Gold", full of excellent riffing and a fine outro, tracks 5 and 6 are back to back and don't keep up with the level of the rest of The Cabinet of Numinous Song.
All in all, Jordablod's untrodden style keeps up and grows with The Cabinet of Numinous Song, a solid addition to their discography of a new evolving band. Some experimentation reminded me of the nature of late Convulse records or Morbus Chron, heavyweights that lay more in death metal than what Jordablod play, still the whole record is very interesting as a whole. From its sound, to the cover and music, this is a record that has been carefully thought through.