Glorior Belli: Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls

helloGators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls, the newest full length offering from French black metalers Glorior Belli, opens with a riff so similar to “Sunshine of your Love” by Cream, that, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s very clearly a knowing homage, could potentially result in a career demolishing lawsuit. Which isn’t to say the album is derivative (because it’s certainly not), but it definitely sets the tone for the album, continuing their exploration of infusing modern black metal with southern classic rock, blues, sludge and doom.

Calling to mind something along the lines of later Entombed, or maybe the more “rockin'” moments of post-Far Beyond Driven era Pantera, mixed with the likes of Enslaved’s more Pink Floydian noodlings, Glorior Belli breed a bizarre chimera – Black Metal you could probably play at a party. Granted, it would have to be a frat party, or some kind of hillbilly kegger, and you’d definitely have to follow it up with some Alice in Chains or risk getting your ass kicked, but what I’m trying to get at is this is some drivin’ metal. The sort of shit you roll a few spliffs and cruise around in the country smoking to. Not that Gators Rumble… doesn’t have its moments of balls out black metal. Much like the opening of “Wolves at My Door”, “I Asked For Wine, He Gave Me Blood” is all blast beats, angular riffs and tortured vocals, worthy of the burningest church before busting out with some pretty sweet pentatonic jams. More proportionately, though, this long player is very groove oriented and will result in a lot more “fuck yeah” head nodding than it will “why do I wear these eight inch spiked gauntlets?” head banging. And that’s by no means a bad thing. Glorior Belli continue to forge a unique aesthetic and sound amongst a shockingly bland wealth of black metal bands who refuse to move beyond the past or innovate, and whom all too frequently dismiss anyone who tries as “fags” or traitors to some kind of imaginary “true believer” dogma. Thankfully, our French brethren don’t really seem bothered much by that type of nonsense.

There’s a lot of good material here and the album is eminently listenable. Plenty of bang for the buck, with repeat spins worth the album price alone just to hear how they manage to transition from blast beats to Skynyrd via Ulver at least a few times. Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls is a fine addition to the output of a band striking out into some weird territory, even by extreme metal standards.


Glorior Belli: Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls
Agonia Records
Score: 4 / 5


Written by Mort Subite