(Album Review) BLACK FLARE - Black Flare
Release Date: May 25, 2021 (Firecum Records)
Written by Jeff Tighe
Black Flare is the debut album from Portugal's Black Flare, but given the grey in the beards of the members it is probably safe to assume that they have spent time in other bands. This album is a collection of traditional metal and doom that has a raw edge throughout. The production isn't pristine, but that isn't the point here: this album is meant to pummel the listener into submission.
The highlight of the album is the English language lead vocals of bassist Antim. The mic work is clean but raw, exactly the type of vocals that suit the pounding instrumentals. Guitarist Nuno and drummer Luis complement Antim's fine bass work with an overall grinding feel throughout.
Some of the songs such as "To Hunt", "Hunter's Moon" and "Beyond and Then Back" are a bit too slow and doom-laden for this reviewer's normal taste, but if that is your normal bag then you will no doubt enjoy them. And generally even the slow ones are pretty catchy (try listening to the title track and not find yourself singing the chorus in your mind for the next half hour).
The faster songs are even better though. Opener "Bending the Will", "Fire and Blood", "By My Sword", and "Above and Beyond" are the best songs on the album and seem to give the band more to play with in the writing department, with tempo changes and more energy.
This is a solid effort for fans of doom and traditional metal.