Dreadful Relic “Hyborian Sorcery” LP
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Following closely behind the release of the “Combat Alchemist” 7” comes the first full-length LP by Greece’s Dreadful Relic. Entitled “Hyborian Sorcery”—a reference to the mythical age created by the great Robert E. Howard—the album features the band’s self-described Black Mythical Metal in its fully realized form. First Wave Black Metal is the scaffolding the band uses to construct its sound, but in both atmosphere and concept, this album represents more than mere imitation; it signifies a violent rejection of the vacuous and corrupt contemporary world. The most obvious sonic reference point for Dreadful Relic is HELLHAMMER and other progenitors of the Black Metal genre, such as SAMAEL and TREBLINKA—all three of which have been covered on the band’s previous releases. But Dreadful Relic eschew mimicry, instead assembling these building blocks in a manner that is novel and captivating. The skillful songwriting featured on “Hyborian Sorcery” ensures that the album never falters, with each track striking a unique nerve. Intrinsic to Dreadful Relic’s approach is the thematic content of the songs. Commingling a variety of mythical, fantastical, and historical ideas and images, the lyrical content and the conceptual underpinnings of the band are an essential aspect of Dreadful Relic’s alchemy. Casting a gaze toward the ancient world in which gods traversed the same landscapes as their human counterparts—before the corrosive presence of monotheism reduced man to pathetic subordination and groveling to his narcissistic god—Dreadful Relic embody a sense of psychic and spiritual warfare: the ancient spirit grappling with the curse of modern existence. As such, these songs are barbarian battle hymns and berserkers’ anthems, prideful calls to arms and stoic displays of might. There is a juxtaposition between the visceral and the transcendent in Dreadful Relic’s music. Listening to “Hyborian Sorcery,” one hears boots on the ground guided by a celestial consciousness. Atavistic and tribal, Dreadful Relic’s sound invokes the ritual purity of blood-bound oaths and the anguished whispers of ancestral voices. Complementing the music on this album is the magnificent cover art by Thomas Holm, known for his classic work with Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, and Nifelheim, among others. NWN! is honored to present the vinyl version of this superb album, which will also be released on CD and tape by Frost & Fire Records.