Heaven That Dwells Within wastes no time getting to the point (SWORD PUN), so neither will I! Israel Langlais’ Double-bass galloping leads the charge with Colby Hink picking his dark, little heart out with earthy riffs and complex Celtic melodies both- rare in black metal. Robin Haris’ ferocious growl sizzles and snaps wizardly lyrics of vanquishing foes, suffering infernal plagues, and being a magick badass in general. I think his esophagus is probably lined with tarantula hair.
The variations in tempo and melody keep Heaven from feeling like a 45 marching dirge. There are shimmers of classical guitar and harmonious choral work throughout along with volcanic blast beats in the other direction.
Track three, Two Wolves has these elements and some tricky time-changes that, frankly, made me want to buy a battle ax from the mall, just so I can carry it around and listen to this song. (But I won't because #checkyourprivilege).
Mysticism is also -fuck it- braided throughout the album, like in Spirit Braid, where Langlais loses his mind on the drumset and Haris takes the lyrics to another level. Outer-realm imagination takes the album’s tone to dimensions only experienced around the D&D table, which for my money, is at the genre’s flickering core.
The album feels like a legendarily successful Dungeon campaign- the voyage, the agonies of defeat, the rallying for battle against evil, gnarly side characters, otherworldly weapons, even the vivid introspection that hums subtextually under each maneuver. There’s something wild and beautiful amid the thorny darkness that constricts each song together.
Your hands will harden with handle blisters. Your teeth will sharpen hungry for the flesh of all who oppose you. Your deltoids will grow to the size of human heads as multitudes of fanged mouths split across them and cry out to the heavens, FUCK YEAH! You’re going to punch the roof of your car to this album. It will serve as the soundtrack to your best roll-playing conquests. Ladies too, by the gods! Track 9, Iron Woman, slays hard in a Brienne of Tarth spiked in demon blood kind of way.
Although they rightfully wave the black metal flag, there's a bright warrior's soul fueling this album. Heaven soars from a technical aspect and explodes from an emotional one. Each track is distinct and highly shuffle-able. Chalk up another kick-ass album victory from these exceptionally loud Canadians.