1. The Invocation
2. Torch of Baphomet
3. Rites of the Blood Moon
4. Storm Dragon
5. The Ghost Tower of Inverness
6. The Obsidian Throne of Azazel
7. Hymns to the Countess
8. A Pact of Blood
It is no great secret that good US black metal is simply hard to come by. So a group from dirty New Jersey already has its work cut out for it before the first note plays.
Immolith formed back in 2008 and have released two demos up until this point. If you’ve heard them, both are poorly produced and their original version of “Ghost Tower of Inverness” actually employes the gimmick of having the vocals bounce back and forth between channels. However, they have definitely turned the quality up a notch and ditched the fanciness on their official debut.
Releasing StormDragon through Metalhit.com, a website and label that simply takes albums one at a time with no long term contracts and promotes the hell out of them for the artist, the first thing you notice is the production. The dark cave-like production of old-school black metal isn’t present on this disc even though the sound certainly harkens back a decade or two to the roots of the genre. Singer Isiamon’s dark screams add a terrifying element to the speedy but dark riffs. Lyrically, the content isn’t too different from so many of their peers being mainly about the occult and as “Hymns to the Countess” gives away, much love for Elizabeth Bathory.
The disc is definitely a little repetitive within each song and across the record itself, with the sound varying very little over the course of its eight tunes. The one track that really does offer up something a little different from the other tunes is the album closer, “A Pact of Blood,” with varies its riffs a little bit, slows down at various points and even offers a complete shift in tunage in the middle . “Ghost Tower” has been on both demos but this is easily the best version I’ve heard of it and “Hymns to the Countess” was also recorded previously. The rest of the tunes appear to be new, led by the aforementioned “A Pact of Blood” and “Torch of Baphomet.”
Even with the repetitiveness of the disc, StormDragon would be solid black metal in any country but in the US probably belongs somewhere near the top of the pile.
Take a listen to the newest version of “Hymns to the Countess” and see for yourself.