Not many black metal bands can provide something nowadays that stands out from the long list of others but Sorcier des Glaces has been doing for a while now. Sorcier des Glaces, often referred to as SDG, is quite a long running aspect in the Quebecois black metal scene. Formed in 1997 by drummer Luc Gaulin (ex-Blinded By Faith) and multi-instrumentalist Sébastien Robitaille, SDG has carved out a loyal following over the course of four well-received full length albums.
Their fifth studio full length Ritual of the End was released January 31st on Obscure Abhorrence Productions. The album follows all the guidelines of what would be called atmospheric black metal but seems to have more of a monumental and regal feel compared to other releases in the genre. Ritual of the End continues to carry on what the band calls “cold primitive metal” but seems to have really progressed into a more rounded and robust sound.
The release does have all the aspects of black metal such as roaring drum patterns and blasts with interweaving cymbals such in the track “The Sign of the End,” fast tremelo riffs like in the track “Morbid Ritual,” and hoarse, scratchy vocals within the entire album. The album does add melodic piano work that sometimes even crosses into an orchestral feel such as the track “Slumbering in the Dark.” Ritual of the End takes you through seven tracks clocking in at almost an hour of frostbitten black metal that is primitive yet progressive, cold like a blizzard yet keenly melodic and intricate.
Sorcier des Glaces’ latest composition owes just as much to the likes of Bathory and the fathers of black metal as much as it does to the next generation. Certain segments have chunky riffing and grooving bleakness, like the middle of “The Sign of the End”. Yes, Sorcier des Glaces supplements the primitive sound with some melodic lead guitar riffs and eventually builds into blast beats coupled with another wave of tremelo worship. Paying homage to one of the greatest, Sorcier des Glaces covers Samael’s “Macabre Operetta” from the revered Blood Ritual album. It is a fitting track for the band to cover as it follows complementarily alongside the band’s original songs. The relentless guitar work and unforgiving drums of the original version are captured quite well with SDG’s own additions and frosty touches.
With Ritual of the End added to their resume, Sorcier des Glaces has stepped out beyond the usual bleak and primitive sound and matured into something new and refreshing to the black metal scene. I see this band continuing to progress and anxiously await more from the cold duo.
Sorcier des Glaces on Facebook:
Obscure Abhorrence Productions: