Seeing any band transition their sound from one style to another is always incredibly interesting if you ask me since that shows they have a drive to create a different sound which can be a great boon that many of us simply weren’t expecting. Shifting from black metal to doom can be a both fitting change as well as a challenging one depending on what you’re going for, but I had confidence that Swan Messiah could pull it off before I even dipped my toes into this most recent offering. In every way, I can confidently say that I was correct.
When I first went into this work, I was honestly expecting that Swan Messiah would deliver a sound that constantly hopped that line between the two styles for a mixture that was a fresh take for what the band has done before while simultaneously being familiar in many ways. While that is true up to a point, it’s throughout “Child of Sorcery” that it’s hard to deny that the doom elements have taken the limelight for the great vast majority of the eight tracks that are on display here with the black metal elements being more like background effects that still have a great impact on the performance at large, but they’re far from the main attraction. That’s a bold shift from what Swan Messiah has done before this release, but I’d be lying to you if I said anything other than how tremendous this work is right from the eyebrow-raising introduction. It allows “Child of Sorcery” to not only be an incredibly fluid and eclectic work that incorporates two out of three of the most impactful extreme metal styles out there that works to the band’s advantage in every way. We’re treated to sights that can effortlessly morph from what can be likened to straight black metal, momentary expanses of drone, a satisfying slow burn of doom, electronic backing to bring undeniable flavor to it all, and everything else in between to show us that Swan Messiah is not just capable of one sound, but so much more. That itself is a great sign to what the name is truly able to pull off with tremendous effect.
Many bands can oftentimes struggle to keep their sound fresh from just remaining in one style with any sort of transition to a different take being something that can be downright challenging even after an effort trying to do so. Swan Messiah needing nothing to prove its talent given its track record, but it is single-handedly with “Child of Sorcery” that the name has shown us that it is so much more than just another band for us to hear and move on from, but, rather, an entity that can effortlessly keep us guessing release after release.
LISTEN to “Child of Sorcery” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Swan Messiah on Facebook here.