Black Metal Refugees
The pioneers of Black Metal created the genre as a means of fighting the omnipresent social
and cultural norms that sought to stifle their identities and push them to conformity. They
rejected Christianity’s ubiquity in Norway, innovating a brand-new subgenre and subsequent
subculture in staunch opposition of the unjust and oppressive institutions around them.
Many bands today have enjoyed the fruits of their labor. We as the listeners certainly benefit
too, but few have had to take up the torch like UK-based Iranian Black Metal outfit Trivax has,
as listening to and playing metal music in Tehran, where Trivax was originally formed, is
considered an affront to Islam and punishable by imprisonment and death.
Thankfully, Shayan, the singer and guitarist of Trivax, sought refuge in the UK as early as 2011,
escaping the oppressive confines of his birthplace and acquiring the freedom needed to create
masterful metal works. The band released a full-length in 2016 entitled Sin, an EP in 2022
called The Serpent’s Gaze, and will be releasing a brand-new album this coming Friday, called
Eloah Burns Out.
Eloah Burns Out, A Black Metal Masterpiece
The album shows incredible musicianship from the self-proclaimed Eastern Death Magick
practitioners, with the opening track and lead single “Azrael” kicking things off with some
unbridled aggression precipitated by traditional Iranian instruments to convey the melody before
the onslaught of the more traditional guitar, bass, and drum combo. While the song, and later
album tracks like “Against All Opposition (By Aeshma’s Wrath),” confidently express chaos with
upbeat tempos, raging riffs, and impassioned vocals courtesy of Shayan, Trivax is not afraid to
slow things down and build complex instrumentals in the breakdown.
Their proclivity for easing off the brutality in exchange for soulful melodies is perhaps most
apparent on their reworking of previously released “The Serpent’s Gaze,” which makes expert
use of the guest vocals from Wraath (Darvaza / Fides Inversa / Behexen / ex-One Tail One
Head). Instrumental-heavy asides like “Silent Contemplation” and “Memento Mori” further urge
the listener to experience the rise and fall as the album unfolds, offering complexity and variety
that many acts fail to harness.
Eloah Burns, A Slam Dunk Concept Album
Eloah Burns Out is not only musically strong, but it’s a conceptual slam dunk for the trio as well.
The track trifecta of “Azrael,” “Alpha Predator,” and “Twilight of Death” explore the concept of
death through the eyes of three distinct subjects, with “Azrael” through the eyes of the Angel of
Death, “Alpha Predator” from the vantage of a murderer, and “Twilight of Death” from the
perspective of a dying person experiencing the bliss of their final moments as Death takes them.
It’s compelling material that only enhances the listening experience.
Trivax takes everything that made them a force to be reckoned with on 2016’s Sin and builds on
it with Eloah Burns Out, further establishing them as an up-and-coming colossus in the genre.
The production is top-notch too, with original mixing and mastering done in the UK and Norway
and reamping performed surreptitiously at an underground studio in Ekbatan, Tehran to capture,
as Trivax refers to it, an “air of home.”
Overal Score: 8/10