Review: “Opus Limbonica” by Clamoris

Perhaps if it wasn’t for the years of the great plague we may have seen the debut album “Opus Limbonica” from Clamoris far sooner than we have but on paper at least, the record is the culmination of five years of work at the grindstone, sharpening the edges of the material forged in the fires of Valhalla. Originally formed in 2017 by Sami Selkäinaho (keyboards, compositions) and Niko Peräkorpi (vocals, bass), the pair soon came to the realisation that in order to do justice to their blend of neo-classically inspired Symphonic Melodic Death Metal they would need to flesh out to a full band. So they brought on board Samuli Kaakinen (guitars, backing vocals), Joonas Kinnari (guitars) and Tom Israels (drums) in 2018 and began to plot a course across the burning fields, inspired by Children Of Bodom, Wintersun and Symphony X

A banshee-esque dry throated roar from Peräkorpi alongside galloping drums and classical guitars brings “Regurgitated” to life as a corpse re-animated by an injection of adrenaline for an eight minute magnum opus of an opening cut which leaves no stone unturned in showing just what Clamoris are capable of. The vocals are savage as Peräkorpi snarls and spits like Dave Mustaine on steroids sweating bullets, an introspective lyrical narrative giving the impression that the voice inside his head is speaking with a desire to kill the host from the inside out. Sonically the band are however a different breed with melodic keys and vibrant guitars providing a depth and texture of sound that puts them in similar territory to bands like Nekrogoblikon. These Finnish Gentlemen aren’t afraid to get playful with what they create either, trading off keyboard solos with guitar solos in “The Bite of The Cosmic Snake” with warmth and imagination and it is these little nuances scattered throughout the album as a whole which make for an incredibly theatrical listen. You can imagine them being heard by someone like Matt Heafy from Trivium and then him taking them on tour, such is the quality of the musicianship on display, especially when the band play with tempos during “Schemer’s Paradox“. The syncopation of the duelling guitars absolutely masterful in the extended solo during an extended instrumental passage of glory, the energy of it having a mesmerising quality.

Black Metal inspired blast beats rain down like fire during “Rage, Rain Down on Them“, providing a thunderous backdrop on which the skeleton of the cut hangs with a sea shanty like rise and fall despite being one of the heavier cuts. It has to be said that there are times here where if it wasn’t for the harsh vocals the Power Metal vibes in some of these cuts would be more noticeable. The vocals actually make the record more accessible, replace them with some higher pitched warbling and it would instantly loose some of its appeal because its the contrast of the sharp tongued venom against the softer soundscape that gives it the edge. Driving home the nails “Forma Inversa” dances with the dead as another playful cut, heavy on the keys and orchestration but still having plenty of bite in the guitars. It feels at times like listening to Classical Music reimagined in Metal, everything being well thought out and defined with a sense of pomp and circumstance that is spellbinding. The title track has more Black Metal about it with haunting keys and bursts of blast beats opening up fresh wounds as it carves through the flesh like a hot knife through butter. A high point as all title tracks should be, this one effectively finished the album majestically before the instrumental “Walking in the Graveyard”  adds a footnote [7.5/10]

Track Listing

1. Regurgitated
2. The Bite of The Cosmic Snake
3. Schemer’s Paradox
4. A Window to My Dreams
5. Rage, Rain Down on Them
6. Forma Inversa
7. Opus Limbonica
8. Walking in the Graveyard

Opus Limbonica” by Clamoris is out 28th October 2022 via Inverse Records with pre-orders available over at bandcamp.


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