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Bilocate - "Summoning The Bygones" (CD)

Bilocate - "Summoning The Bygones" CD cover image

"Summoning The Bygones" track listing:

1. The Tragedy Within (8:45)
2. Beyond Inner Sleep (5:59)
3. A Deadly Path (9:52)
4. Passage (5:01)
5. Dead Emotion (Paradise Lost Cover) (5:25)
6. Hypia (9:34)
7. 2nd War in Heaven (8:22)
8. A Desire to Leave I. Obccurity (9:13)
9. A Desire to Leave II. Surrounding Hell (6:21)
10. A Desire to Leave III. ...Of Living (4:17)

Reviewed by on June 24, 2012

"Stylistically, 'Summoning the Bygones' is all over the map, covering death, doom, symphonic black metal, and more."

Extreme metal is a musical expression that has popped up in some of the most surprising places, and in recent years hasn’t been confined to just the U.S. and Europe. Now Jordan is taking its turn in pumping out high quality heavy music, as Jordanian metal act Bilocate unleashes its third full-length outing, “Summoning the Bygones.” Many geographical areas are known for producing very specific types of sounds (USBM, Bay Area thrash, and so on), but that can’t be said for this album, which takes turns at a whole spectrum of metal sub-genres that are only unified by their darkness and heaviness.

Stylistically, “Summoning the Bygones” is all over the map, covering death, doom, symphonic black metal, and more. The main underlying idea is a European style of mournful doom, akin to Swallow the Sun or Rapture with less of a focus on deep growls, but that’s just a core to work off, and any given moment will likely deviate from that baseline. The various songs, and segments within the songs, are frequently changing, with plenty of guitar solos in-between the slower moving doom or more orchestral elements to keep the pace up. The only thing that shouldn’t be expected is for the band to sound anything like Arkan or Orphaned Land, as the ethnic middle-eastern sounds aren’t the focus here. Taking a page from the acts that inspired Bilocate, a cover of Paradise Lost’s “Dead Emotion” sits smack dab in the middle of the album alongside the original tunes.

While the album is undeniably heavy, and there’s plenty of death metal to go around, there’s also a good deal of atmospheric ambience, contributing to the extended song lengths. Tracks like “Beyond Inner Sleep” capitalize on this idea and even sprinkle in gothic clean vocals. Although the specifics of the song writing are noticeably different, and the vocals can’t be directly compared, the music does frequently create an early Opeth-style vibe that will appeal to fans of death metal that takes a prog turn.

Featuring guest vocals from the industry giant Dan Swano, and filled with unexpected changes in sound and smooth transitions, Bilocate has got a winning combination of style and substance on “Summoning the Bygones.” Pick this one up and experience what the Jordan metal scene has to offer when dark melody and symphonic elements collide with the funeral dirges of death and doom metal.

Highs: Death, doom, and symphonic metal collide in unexpected ways with smooth transitioning.

Lows: The song's don't strictly need to be nine to ten minutes long, and sometimes there's a lack of focus.

Bottom line: Bilocate's third album is a marriage of dark melody and death metal brutality, with the mournful aspect of doom thrown in for good measure.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)