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FLAMEKEEPER - We Who Lit The Fire

Release date November 29/19 (Invictus Productions)

This mini-album from Demonomancy founder Marco S. presented problems for this reviewer. There was no doubting the strength of Flamekeeper's We Who Lit The Fire even upon initial listen, its originality being pain-fully obvious. The problem was trying to categorize and compartmentalize the damn thing.

'The Birth of a Tribe' intro opens in highly orchestral mode, chanting vocal embellishments over top. 'Nomads of the World Below' follows, its main riff a black metal concoction, with the inclusion of dramatic amplified drums during the chorus and its clean vocals bringing to mind Greece's Rotting Christ crossed with Ireland's Primordial. 'Until This Earth Takes Me' is up next, initiated by pastoral vocals and strumming guitar, before speeding up into another memorable chorus, overall taking the listener into latter-era Enslaved territory.

'We Who Light The Fire' then takes us into a more folk metal centred headspace, a Celtic-inspired guitar refrain setting the tone and a strong guitar solo furthering the cause. 'Dead Sea Waters' completes the original material, coming across like something off of Darkthrone's The Underground Resistance masterpiece (it says here!).

The bottom line is that Flamekeeper have succeeded in manufacturing a thinking-man's trad/black/folk metal mini-masterpiece here, warranting repeated listens in trying to comprehend its grandeur. Another one that was a late addition to our 'Top 10 EPs of 2019' list.

Note: includes a cover of Neromantia's 'Ancient Pride'.

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