Genre: Epic Black Metal
Label: Furias Records - Orion Music Entertainment
Two years after their previous work, Bulgarian epic fantasy black metallers Shambless are back with their 4th full-length album. Shambless is the personal project of Arvelss Elfaros, who formed them back in 1997 and released two full-length albums “Omnipotentia” in 2003 and “Apkas Itulia” in 2004. After a seven-year absence, the band returned with its third album “Menra Eneidalen” in 2011. They seem to be back for good now, since on August 2013 they released their new album “Irke Ranefas“, this time via the Argentinian label Furias Records – Orion Music Entertainment. Arvelss has once again composed all music, written all lyrics, played synths, drums and did the vocals, while guitars and bass are played by Nick.
Except for their debut album that was moving in another genre, Shambless play epic melodic atmospheric black metal, deeply influenced by fantasy Elfish mythology. I enjoyed their previous works very much, but I wasn’t prepared for something that good from their new release! “Irke Ranefas” is a fantastic album, by far the best work of the band, who managed to perfect every aspect of its music! Their production is much better and the composition level really higher, with so many enchanting melodies. The album includes 8 long songs with a total duration of almost 54 minutes. This time their music doesn’t sound as a long continuous song, but each composition has its own character, with distinctive melodies, something that makes it more interesting and easy to listen. Their sound is once again based on the beautiful combination of melodic guitars and epic fantasy synths. Their keyboards are not the typical ones, instead they use some unusual fantasy folklore instruments, perfect for this “elven” fairytale-like atmosphere of their music. Their guitars are much more powerful and natural this time, something that made their sound more rich and solid. Arvelss vocals are also definitely improved. He sings most of the time with black metal screams, combined with melodic epic clean male vocals and some amazing chant-like choirs. All lyrics are written in an ancient Elfish language, depicting a fantasy world called “The Wet Lands”.
2013 has been a great year for fans of epic fantasy atmospheric black metal. Except for Summoning’s new album, three great newcomers appeared, Caladan Brood, Númenor and Emyn Muil, and now the year closes with this masterpiece from Shambless. The band has improved all its weaknesses, at least for my taste and I just hope they continue this way. “Irke Ranefas” is released by Orion Music Entertainment in a standard jewel-case edition with an 8-page folded booklet, illustrated by AshaDesign, while cover photography is by Hristo Peshev. You can visit the band’s official profiles below for more info and sound samples.