SONIC REIGN - RAW DARK PURE - METAL BLADE
The album has a perfect title for music like this, but what is this doing on Metal Blade? It is cool of course that a bigger label would give a chance to an underground duo like this, but Sonic Reign is a peculiar signing for the label nevertheless.
Many people will point this out soon, but Raw Dark Pure is similar to Satyricon’s newer output like Rebel Extravaganza. The band has skipped the keyboards, trombone and flute part (that’s the 'pure' part) and despite being a duo has a real drummer in place, which leaves Ben to take care of vocals, bass and guitars and quite adeptly one must add. Aside from Satyricon, Sonic Reign also takes care to include older black metal elements too as on the simple, but vicious, riffs on The Martyr Urge. Tyrant Blessed is another fast and simple song construct. On another note, the band must have a sense of humour. The lyrics throw out references to the bigger bands of the underground with phrases like 'merciful fate', 'emperor’s return' or 'reek of putrefaction.' No one has bothered to tell the Germans that one 'loses’ something not' looses’ it though.
Raw Dark Pure is a re-release of the band’s independent CD and real underground stuff. Hopefully, the band will meet a better fate than the title of the seventh song, To Rebel And Fail, suggests. - Anna Tergel