As a dyed-in-the-blood-soaked wool True Norwegian Black Metal enthusiast (I wear that emblem proudly by the way) I am always highly skeptical whenever I see the terms “post black metal” pop up. Immediately, those Ray-Ban wearing Deafheaven guys come to mind and I find my body recoiling in utter horror, yearning to go buy a one-way ticket to Trondheim. So with that Deafheaven repulsion manifesting right in the back of my craw, I took a listen to Numenorean’s Adore on Season of Mist records. Surprisingly, after a listen I found the vomitus actually going back through my esophagus and receding into my stomach. Man, I was so ready to throw up all over my $139 Ray Bans and then blackly gaze at them on the floor on a newly-transplanted midwesterner’s Williamsburg, Brooklyn loft after drinking too much “craft beer.”
Numenorean’s Adore is really quite good. I adore (get it) the heavy Cure influence on many of the tracks. It brings me back to the 80’s when kids used to actually hang out and feel depressed… together. I love the guitars that are sometimes gothy, sometimes black metal-lky and sometimes something else entirely. Appropriate use of effects adds to the overall composition, especially on tracks like “Portrait of Pieces.”
“Adore” is, without a doubt, the winner on this record. An eight plus minute epic of expertly written metal fortitude, this song showcases the band at its finest with its vocals, rhythms and lyrics. I love the contrast between the different voices and between the heavy Gojira-like bombast and touching melody. David Horrock’s cymbal work is also brilliant on this track are Lemley and LeBlanc’s tremolo guitars. “Adore” the song, is one of the best songs I’ve heard all year.
While there are some shining stars on Adore (the record), there are some songs that are a bit too much, in my opinion. For example, “Portrait of Pieces” is an eight and a half minute song that runs about 90 seconds too long with its emo-like screams at two points in the song that takes the wind out of it. Similarly, the breakup song “Stay” is a bit overdone and overly emotive. Hey, look, I get it. I’ve had more relationship breakups than Nikki Sixx has had deaths, but move on, my friend!
Thankfully, “Coma” follows up “Stay” with much more uptempo heavy riffing. And the riffing on this record is the hook here. All criticisms of the emo screams aside, this is a very good record.
There is a lot to like on Adore. In fact, there’s a lot to love. Numenorean certainly brings us a quality, reflexive record. At times, a bit too reflexive for my taste, but remember I’m a middle aged man with a cold, cold heart.
Adore releases this Friday (12th) via Season of Mist.