Although the band has been around since 2010 and has already released several demos and EPs, Bones took plenty of time to come up with their debut album. Late last year ‘Sombre Opulence’ finally arrived via Invictus Productions.
What first stands out is the dark sound that is quite close to Black Metal. When listening to ‘Sombre Opulence’ it is therefore no surprise that Bones and Invictus Productions have teamed up. The Irish label has almost patented extreme metal with this kind of sound, which is very much on that nasty tipping point between Death Metal and Black Metal. The much more straight forward Death Metal of the demos has clearly evolved in recent years into a blackened, slightly chaotic but clearly equally deadly two-headed monster. It is in this amplitude that the Belgians drag you past gallow fields, stinking sewers and ghastly chasms. It is bands like Incantation, Immolation and especially Morbid Angel (‘Deserts Of Eternity’) that seem to have provided the main sources of inspiration. Although the musical quality is of a decent standard, the album sags a bit during the second half and loses some of its energy and conviction. The contrarian riffs and slightly chaotic nature of ‘Sombre Opulence’ take a few listens to penetrate properly, but in the process it also becomes apparent that not all of it songs sticks equally. It is fair to say that some songs do need some more fine tuning, especially when the band throttles down a bit a lack of effectiveness is revealed in those slower passages.
Still, one can safely speak of a solid debut album. The fact that the band members have a whole bunch of other bands on the go must have been the reason why it took so long to present this first album, but I hope that the successor of ‘Sombre Opulence’ will take less time and that the recipe will be further refined and perfected.