In mid-January of this year we had the pleasure of premiering a stream of Black Serpent Rising, the new third album by Ukrainian black/death metal band Balfor, in advance of its January 15 release by the French label Drakkar Productions, and now we have for you a new video of the band performing the song “Dawn of Savage“, filmed at their album release show in Kyiv.
For those of you who may still be new to Balfor, the line-up includes current and former members of such notable groups as Khors, Raventale, and Hate Forest. Black Serpent Rising follows the band’s last album, Barbaric Blood, by six years, with the 2013 EP Heralds of the Fall dividing the wait and with significant line-up changes occurring over that interval as well.
To repeat a few of the thoughts I offered in a review of the album accompanying our premiere: “Produced with clarity and strength, the music envelops the listener in something approximating ‘surround sound’. The songs are unrelentingly dramatic, as if created as the soundtrack for a great saga in which ancient civilizations rose and fell. The riffs and percussive rhythms are bone-shaking in their force, the vocals warlike and flesh-scarring, and the band accent these grand musical tales with heroic and somber clean vocals as well (including female ones). What really exalts the aura of the music are the array of sweeping melodies, stirring guitar leads, and incandescent soloing”.
The video we’re premiering today was produced and directed by George Lazurenko, and benefits from perspectives on the performance shot from a multitude of different locations and angles. As you’ll see, the band was backed by a large video screen engulfed in flames… which was fitting, because “Dawn of the Savage” blazes. The song includes some killer riffs that will get your head moving, but it also generates that sweeping atmosphere of a dark, grand, and mythic saga that I referred to above.
Happily, it’s also one of my favorite tracks on a very strong album, and a great way to discover Black Serpent Rising if you haven’t done that already.
Black Serpent Rising is now available on CD through the Drakkar Productions web-store HERE, and it’s also available digitally via Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, and on Bandcamp at this location: