Artist: Glora Nexus
Album: A Grand Monument To Mortality
Release Date: 06/06/2021
We kick off Indonesia week by looking at Jakarta based black metal entity Glora Nexus and their EP A Grand Monument To Mortality. The album dropped on June 6th on Bhumidhuka Productions & Harsh Productions.
The band describe themselves as simply being black metal, which for the most part they are, but there are some unique folk, atmospheric and melodic elements in the mix. As far as the folk elements go, this is part of what makes the band uniquely Indonesian as the band feature tarawangsa on the album courtesy of Teguh Permana of Tarawangsawelas. For anyone who isn’t aware tarawangsa is a Javanese string instrument with a very distinctive sound. Essentially, it’s a two stringed fiddle played upright using a large bow. This performance is found on track 2 on the album Verboten Vibes and makes it one of my favourite songs on the album.
Aside from the aforementioned folk elements the rest of the album is very much purely black metal. The band have struck a fantastic middle ground between raw and melodic black metal and also happen to feature some truly atmospheric moments from time to time. This atmosphere presents itself most prominently on track 5 For Mourning Non-Existence Worship, which is essentially a dark ambient track.
The melody that is present on the album is found mostly in the guitar work which is the driving force for the album. There’s a blend of furious tremolo picking and other more melodic and at times even classic heavy metal inspired guitar work. This is most prevalent on track 4 Death Omnipotent, Death Omnipresent where we see some fantastic guest guitar work by Alexander Lexy (Blodwen). You’ll also find some great guest guitar work on track 3 Hear The Call by Ardian Nuril Anwar (Devoured). The drum work on the album is a blend between unrelenting blast beats and more rhythmic and varied work but for the most part it takes its ques from the guitar.
Vocally speaking Svarte presents us with a fantastic middle point between raw and melodic black metal vocals. The have a raw edge to them and a real bite, but they aren’t completely grating or assaulting. I think that for the most part they should please fans of either style of black metal. Lyrically speaking the band state that “A Grand Monument To Mortality is an extremity that is considered deeply as a manifestation of the chaos of today’s world. where humanity has lost every connection to its origins and behaves as an arrogant species.” This shows that the band share similar sentiments with numerous black metal acts from both Europe, the USA and elsewhere in the world, that humanity is the planet’s greatest problem.
Overall, I was genuinely impressed by the album and immediately found myself wanting to hear more from the band. Personally, I’m looking forward to their next offering and am curious is they will maintain their current raw/melodic balance of pick a path. Personally, I would love to see more inclusion of unique Indonesian folk music and instruments on the next album. Overall though I believe that this release will serve as a great introduction for people to Indonesian black metal, a rabbit hole that I deeply implore you all to dive into.
Listen to and order the album: