If you have followed Velvet Thunder closely, then you probably remember the interview we did with In Aphelion’s mastermind Sebastian Ramstedt late last year, on the occasion of their debut EP Luciferian Age. Besides fellow Necrophobic bandmates Ramstedt (vocals, guitars and bass) and Johan Bergebäck (guitars), the band also features drummer Marco Prij (Cryptosis). The full length Moribund is planned for release on March 11th and is a straight continuation of the style displayed on the EP – black metal, with a touch of Swedish death, old school thrash and classic heavy metal.
What Sebastian has always excelled at, is his ability to compose really catchy riffs with big hooks and evil, twisted leads and melodies. With In Aphelion, he builds upon his talent with the additional challenge of performing the lead vocals, and he does that perfectly. Moribund starts with the very atmospheric and epic World Serpent (Devourer Of Dreams), before launching into an already familiar, previously released trio of songs. The first highlight for me comes with the mid-tempo and very melodic This Night Seems Endless, which is cleverly placed as the album’s centerpiece, while the following He Who Saw The Abyss shines with fantastic guitar solos. The mix and mastering by Fredrik Folkare are stellar and the album sounds organic, never over-produced, but still really powerful, with heavy accent on the guitars.
Another favorite track is The Origin, once again a beautiful display of the great Ramstedt/ Bergebäck partnership and the power of the good riff. Sorrow, Fire & Hate is probably the most straightforward black metal hammer and surely among the strongest compositions and Requiem serves as the perfect closing track, with tons of atmosphere and layers of melodic guitars, reminding me of some of the Viking-era classics by Bathory. Epic stuff!
In Aphelion are obviously not reinventing the wheel here, but this is not the point and the purpose of Moribund. This is an album that is a true delight to listen to, if you can call yourself a black metal fan. This is not some Necrophobic leftover material, but a fully-fleshed entity, that is only starting to reveal its true potential. Do yourselves a favor and check this band out. True dedication and talent must always be rewarded.
Moribund can be pre-ordered from HERE