Serpents, fire, blood, and bone. Torches burning and bonfires blazing. A night lit by sparks and cloaked by wood smoke from the blaze. Invocations of power and praise to the drawing of steel. Remembrances of a barbarous past, consecrated in blood. The video we’re premiering captures such visions, but your mind’s eye could create them simply from the music.
The song is “Serpents of the Black Sun” and it comes from Black Serpent Rising, the third album by the Ukrainian band Balfor, which will be released on January 15, 2017, by Drakkar Productions.
Balfor’s line-up includes current and former members of such groups as Khors, Raventale, and Hate Forest, and this new full-length follows the band’s last album, Barbaric Blood, by a long six years, with the 2013 EP Heralds of the Fall dividing the wait.
The time-worn but fitting adjective “epic” leaps to mind in considering the impact of “Serpents of the Black Sun”, which is the song that opens the new album in supremely dramatic fashion. The music is fierce and powerful, barbarous and majestic. It hits with a jolting physicality and a dark, sweeping intensity that matches the imagery in the video. It’s heroic, yet grim and somber.
Perhaps what makes the song stand out more than anything else is the guitar solo, which comes almost as a surprise. It’s a moment of beauty and grandeur that elevates the atmosphere of the song into something mythic, soon followed by clean voices that rise above the music’s driving tumult.
The video was produced by Utgard Production and was directed by Anders Matt Kochin. The cover art for the album was created by the Ukrainian artist Nugeslag, who also rendered the cover art for Rotting Christ’s latest albums. The full track list is as follows:
01 – Serpents Of The Black Sun
02 – Dawn Of Savage
03 – Unbounded Wrath Of Venom
04 – Heralds Of The Fall
05 – Among The Fallen Ones
06 – Wolfbreed
07 – A Vulture’s Spell
08 – Crimson Stronghold
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Well, fire, skulls and facepaint have been done before, but damn it’s a winning combination. Just the sequence of notes these guys a playing.
Sweet track! That lead/gallop combo is beautiful! \m/