Review: “Scorched Realm” by Glacial Coffin

Almost three years after the quest for the legendary cursed blade of a night tyrant began with 2019’s “Of Snow And Blood“, the return of the Scandinavian influenced Baton Rouge Louisiana based Melodic Blackened Death Metal Glacial Coffin with sophomore album “Scorched Realm” is an intriguing one. Not least because the line up that created that first magnum opus remains firmly intact with vocalist Corey Butler, guitarists John LeBlanc and Ryan Grizzaffi alongside a rhythm section of bassist Benton Lovoi and drummer Mike Poole all present and correct, despite their other projects The Axes of Evil, Megawitch, DeadCentered and Dry Socket

A blistering record from start to finish, Glacial Coffin pick up where they left off with “Of Snow And Blood” as if they never left the studio, capturing the energy of their live performances like lightening in a bottle to create an incendiary riff fuelled record of the highest order. Butler continues the lyrical narrative usually synonymous with Power Metal with a collection of first person tales depicting himself as a warrior fighting battles in the scorched realm of the albums title, his vocals just as searing and intense as they were on the that almighty debut. The kit performances from Poole are outstanding throughout, a real artillery shelling of percussive battery that injects the adrenaline into the album, driving  these cuts forward at a high octane pace and fueling the atmosphere from the very beginning, a time honoured sense of melancholia from Scandinavian Black Metal providing the hellscape backdrop and shrouding everything in a veil darkness, as depicted in the cover art. Poole ushers in “Wolves of Fire” alongside an opening riff that has a distinctive, nostalgic 80’s Metal feel despite being beefed up for a Melodic Death Metal cut and immediately sets “Scorched Realm” off to a thunderously powerful and stirring fashion. The pummelling continues into “Upon the Altar” which slams the coffin lid shut and drives home the nine inch nails with a fretboard smoking solo delivered at the unrelenting breakneck pace of the album.

Sinister and menacing, the violent depictions of humanity being slaughtered by advancing armies in “Between Two Hells” is one of the darker lyrical depictions while also making for one of the albums stand out cuts. Butler’s vocals on “Ashen Familiar” are nothing short of incredible as he introduces some shriller tones to contrast his usual savage uncleans, not only giving the cut more edge but also fuelling the fire that the band have created on this violent outburst. The title track begins with a “Bleigh!” as Butler becomes the conqueror of the scorched land having slain all his enemies before the call from the flames to immolation, oddly reminiscent of the lyrics found in “Blood of My Enemy” as inked by Johnny Plague from Winds Of Plague. Taking on “Between the Hammer and the Anvil” by Judas Priest for the album closer, Glacial Coffin make it their own by using their guitar tones and vocal styles rather than adopting those of the English Metal Masters. What’s interesting about the cover is that it’s not only in keeping with the album itself but as you listen to it back, it almost feels like the album has been constructed to lead up to it. In the same way as Killswitch Engage took on a cover of “Holy Diver” by Dio and suddenly people noticed some of their riffs were influenced by it, the same is true here and the result is an absolute triumph [8/10]

Track Listing

  1. Wolves of Fire
  2. Upon the Altar
  3. Between Two Hells
  4. Ashen Familiar
  5. Come Forth, Be Slain
  6. Nemesis Bane (ft. Jerik Thibodeaux of Golgothan)
  7. Scorched Realm
  8. Between the Hammer and the Anvil (Judas Priest Cover)

Scorched Realm” by Glacial Coffin is out now via Haulm Records and is available over at bandcamp

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