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lunedì 13 settembre 2021

Orgrel - Red Dragon’s Invocation

#FOR FANS OF: Black Old School

Let`s go with another interesting project, which literally comes from nowhere. The Italian project Orgrel has signed a deal with Iron Bonehead Productions to release its first opus entitled 'Red Dragon’s Invocation'. As this label usually releases quality stuff, it is clear that the band’s first effort must have something which should be worth of our time.

As I have no more info about this obscure project, I immediately decided to focus on the most important thing, the music itself. One needs only a couple of seconds to realize that Orgrel plays black metal in its purest and most iconic form. Every second of this powerful debut is a sincere and passionate tribute to the genre’s gold era, the never forgotten '90s. Production wise, 'Red Dragon’s Invocation' is an album with a good balance in terms of merging the current production standards and a devotion to that era. There is no crystal-clear sound here, but a quite good production, where the main instruments can be easily distinguished, while the overall sound is enough raw to fit the music. The vocals sound high and powerful, just in the front but without being over present, as they share the main role with the guitars and drums. As mentioned before, Orgrel plays black metal as quintessential as the genre can be, so there is no need to lose time trying to give a more refined definition of the band’s sound. 'Red Dragon’s Invocation' is an album where speed, ferocity and melody are fused together in a very natural way, like black metal has always been, as least when it has not been perverted. There is no black metal if we only find brutality without melody and this Italian project has perfectly understood this indispensable condition. For that reason, the seven songs of this debut album have a healthy balance of these elements, including a good dose of tempo changes, which is always a welcome aspect in this genre. The album opener "Burning Ruins", which is actually one of the top songs of this album, summarizes all the strong points of Orgrel’s music. It’s a fast track with ferocious vocals and an excellent work with the guitars, which sound equally strong and melodic and with a good degree of elaboration, as they guide all the tempo changes of this track. The composition has a handful of them, as it flows easily between fast, medium, and slow sections which make the song truly captivating. The tremolo riffing is the king in songs like "Amor Fati" or the album closer, the massive "Carved in Blood", especially in the fastest sections of these songs and in general in the whole album. On the other hand, we can find slightly more distorted guitars in the slowest parts, being maybe the clearest example the headbanging inducing "Gate of Eternal Life", which could be defined the slowest song of the album, although it doesn´t lack a pinch of power.

Orgrel’s debut 'Red Dragon’s Invocation' will please of the fans of classic black metal, as the album keeps a quite good level through the entire work. It won´t shake the genre as the classic gems did, because I can´t find a song which is outstandingly brilliant, but I can´t either find a mediocre song or even section. In conclusion, everything here sounds packed, focused and consistent, giving us over thirty minutes of undoubted enjoyment. (Alain González Artola)

(Iron Bonehead Productions - 2021)
Score: 74