Finland is one of those country that normally does not fail, when it comes to Black Metal. It might be something in their genes, I guess. Jokes aside, Finland is a “must go to” for Black Metal., and there is no need to mention the classic bands / musicians, for recent ones continue to welcome us with top-notch Black Metal!
Commander Agares was unknown to me until I received this promo, and was not expecting to be welcomed to this, to be honest. One should not judge a band before giving it a go, and I did give it a go, and was my first ideas were far from what it turned out to be. This symphonic approach to the genre, is still alive in Finnish lands, but I am still attracted to it. I never found this specific Black Metal sound to be any sort of inferior to any other Black Metal sound! It sounds, at times, a cosmic journey into the abyss… I did start off with Symphonic Melodic Black Metal, and to this day I still cherish a good usage of keyboards in Black Metal!
Commander Agares is the perfect example of Finnish Black Metal: melodic, symphonic, riff-based Black Metal. And is that, in any way, a negative thing? No, of course not! The band even throws in a few guitar solos, adding more and more layers to their sound. A track like “Blessed by the Hyperborean Storms” is one of the best I had the chance to listen to this year! The vocals, the guitar riffs, the atmosphere… that ending. And this at a time and age where bands want to sound rawer, and more primitive than ever.
Commander Agares’ aim is melody and chilling atmospheres, and they nailed it, in my opinion. Proof that Finnish Black Metal does live up to the praise, and that Commander Agares will, most likely, continue to put out good Black Metal.