text: Jean Relapse
March 3rd, 2017
I would lie if I told you I expected a lot from Patria. Before this week, Patria was a band I didn’t know at all and Brazil isn’t a country I particularly know for black metal. The only blame to put is on me, as Patria released six albums before Magna Adversia, and not any one I knew or I even heard of. The latest addition to their discography has been brought to this world through Soulseller Records last month.
The good thing with Patria is that they don’t trouble themselves with introductions. The album falls into your face as heavy as a breeze-block. And that’s quite convenient honestly, as the album sounds equally good the whole time. Infidels, followed by Axis, are the summary of the album. If you’re too lazy to listen to these two tracks, my first words were ‘that’s a melodic apocalypse!‘ as they truly understood what the Norwegian scene started. Urgehal wouldn’t refute inspiring these guys. Yet, they are more straight-forward and the mid-tempos that characterize Urgehal’s latest albums are not as much of an important part of the mix. We can safely assume that their Brazilian roots intervene here as they incorporate some wild elements. Now I bleed, that initiate the second part of the album, adds epic, warlike elements (reminiscent of Keep of Kalessin or Balfor) that create a new feeling and that give second wind to the album.
Speaking of being wild and having second winds, does the album survive repeated listenings? Basically, Patria is perfect to listen from time to time. At first listen, this sounds like an apocalypse as the sound is violent and the melodies still remain clearly audible, but as time goes, the surprise effect is lost and the album falls into the quirk of becoming a background noise. Some riffs won’t go unnoticed though, The Oath’s and Axis’ main themes leading the way. However, songs such as A Two-Way Path or Porcelain Idols are, for example, not the most interesting they wrote and drags the album’s overall quality down.
The paradox with this album is that some songs are so good that they foreshadow the others. Coming back to A Two-Way Path, the song would be a good song for any band. But considering the other tracks, it sounds average. I’d say that, to grow out of it, they’d need to be more consistent. Or to reduce the album’s length. Besides this, I would strongly recommend to anyone to listen to Patria, because the band is clearly above most of the ‘average‘ black metal releases, and it would be a shame to miss them.