Review: “Blessed By The Light Of A Thousand Stars” by Servant

Standing upon the sounders of giants in the Scandinavian Black Metal scene, the debut album of Germans Servant has been one much talked about in the build up to its release as it marks the return of main songwriter Farago who was part of Ancient Wargod, a band who fleetingly reformed in 2010 having had an initial run in the 90’s that resulted in the astounding “When Darkness Rises…” in 1997. The new project is said to have been brewing for five long years with the album recoded and produced as Farago’s vision with finishing touches by Guano Apes drummer Dennis Poschatta during mastering at the Katzbach Studio in Göttingen and sees him joined by Apophis (Drums), Thanatos (Bass) and Samael (Guitar) while he himself handles guitar and vocal parts…

…lyrically said to be inspired by not only modern Satanism, but also by the human emotional world and the longings associated with it, the longing for death, the desire for transience, elevation of the self, as well as the search for the meaning of life with the help of various religious and occult teachings, the influence of latter Emperor, Dimmu Borgir and to a lesser extent Immortal is lurking beneath the surface. The rich acoustic melody of the introduction of “Negate The I” creates a false sense of security before Servant dive headlong into what could only be described as the modern take on Black Metal, with skull hammering percussive battery and a shroud of dark atmosphere around some guitar work that touches on both the Gothic and the Death Metal ends of the spectrum in it’s razor sharp attack. As an opening cut, it goes the full range and showcases everything the band have to offer over seven and half minutes while confirming that the seasoned musicians have plenty to offer a maddening crowd. Cut from the same cloth “Death Meditation” brings the fire and brimstone while having a mid track drop out for a spoken word as does “Incantation Of The Old Ones” before a formula becomes clear; the raging opening winds of barbarity subside with each passing song to allow for a second half of heightened melody and darker beauty. As ferocious as some of the riffs are there is far more depth and texture with cleaver melodies and little moments that make this album so much more. A new band would simply have gone hell for leather with their debut album and not taken the time to dabble in acoustic melodies with flamenco parts like Servant do with the cinematic “Foreshadowing Rite“, a rich opulent affair that is nothing short of stunning. “Destruction And Recreation” sees Servant at their most ferocious, a rampaging shorter cut that has Farago at his scowling, scathing vocal best with some solid old school Metal surrounding him at the eye of a storm before the slower, stomper “Ecclesia Obscuri” brings some buried synths and eerie backing vocals before the majestically executed false ending brings it home. This potent brew will more than satisfy the thirst for blood with its dark tales and lyrical depth but the fact that this is only the beginning the thing that is simply astonishing…  [7.5/10]

Track listing

1. Negate The I
2. Death Meditation
3. The Ultimate Occult Worship
4. Foreshadowing Rite
5. Hymn To The Latest Days
6. Incantation Of The Old Ones
7. Destruction And Recreation
8. Ecclesia Obscuri
9. Blessed By The Light Of A Thousand Stars

Blessed By The Light Of A Thousand Stars” by Servant is out 26th November via Black Sunset

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