The Beckoning – The Desolation of War
Record Label: Nosral Recordings
The Desolation Of War is the first release out of Nosral Recordings after combining their two previous demos (Desolate 2014) and War 2012). Canadian progressive death metallers The Beckoning was started by husband and wife team Roy and Meghan Turple. Roy takes on the rare combination of drums and vocals whilst his wife takes on the role of (operatic) vocals and keyboards. Talented guitarist/ bassist Eldon Loewen completed the line-up.
The album kicks off with the keys in a very gentle opening before the guitar, bass and drums come in as Roy growls a section from an old psalm with Meghan providing some atmospheric vocals behind it. Then a whirlwind of energy erupts as the double bass drums start kicking and screaming with Roy growling over the top warning people of apostasy.
Next up is the nine minute track ‘The Sifting’ This is a ‘real’ prog metal track with long, complex changes. The keys are nicely used as atmosphere, contrasting with seother progressive bands whose keys are often a main focus.
Battle cry is the third song and by the far the shortest at 4:10. You feel ready for battle after just the 18 second intro as it is probably the heaviest section of the EP. The lyrical are encouraging, talking about salvation:
Look to the cross
The war is won
Raise the banner
The battle’s begun
Behold The Lamb the victor
They are a band who clearly take Christianity seriously but they aren’t overly judgmental, pushy or cliched but instead are uplifting whilst being unafraid to be upfront.
It’s the longest until last as ‘Desolate Sanctuary’ comes in at 9:46. Meghan’s vocals become more prominent here which is very much a good thing. Her melodic, if slightly Gothic vocals work perfectly in conjunction with Roy’s. Whilst it is long, it’s not boring. Many songs of this length often has me wishing it finished 2 or 3 minutes earlier, I never get this with ‘Desolate Sanctuary’. With each section, almost a song in itself, shows the versatility and a pool of resources and inspirations they have to draw from.
This is a good start into their first EP on Nosral. The fusion on prog, goth and extreme metal works well. While they may not have reinvented the wheel regarding their formula: using male growled vocals with female operatic vocals + heavy riffing + melody- it’s a formula they pull off well.
Recommended track: Lamentation
You can get the album from here: https://thebeckoning.bandcamp.com
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