Our War Is Only Against Hell
Ah, South American black metal. There’s a lot of it. So much so that you start to get the feeling that the prevailing philosophy when it comes to producing metal is “quantity over quality”. Not trying to be snarky, here; I want to be enthusiastic, especially with the underground stuff, but when you get through a lot of “same-old, same-old” stuff, you tend to start getting bogged down in a rut of sorts.
Cerimonial Sacred, fortunately, seems to stand out a bit with their take on symphonic black metal. Think earlier Dimmu Borgir, only more of a black metal band with gothic influences, rather than the other way around. The production on Our War Is Only Against Hell is a bit more raw, and keyboards are used, yes, but somehow manage to avoid sounding cheesy and actually enhance the atmosphere. There is your fair share of face-melting riffs, frosty blast-beats and soul-freezing shrieks, but that’s also balanced with some melodic keyboard-based songs.
Overall, considering the statements made in the first paragraph of this review, I would have to say that Cerimonial Sacred is one of the better black metal bands to have appeared out of South America, and their debut release Our War Is Only Against Hell is very much worth picking up, if you enjoy raw yet well-played symphonic black metal.