30 Aug 2019 - Thorsten
Blackened-Sludge | Burning World Records | Release date: 30 Aug 2019
Breda’s The Fifth Alliance seems to be set out for another awesome release, “The Depth Of The Darkness” surely sounds promising!
Caro Tanghe from Oathbreaker, T from Turia – two brilliant examples of female fronted black metal or blackgaze, two strong females who show that not only guys can raise hell with their voices and a coherent attitude. If we talk about Dutch-Belgian bands with female vocals over dark, sinister music we shall not forget another one – Sylvia Berger, the singer for Breda’s blackened sludge five-piece The Fifth Alliance.
The band released their third full-length in late August (shame on us for not reviewing it earlier) and it definitely is a grower in its own right. One cannot deny the magical carpet ride that they take us on with this record as they are able to give space and air to every instrument so that it can contribute to a sound that will flow through you and captivate your senses. Sometimes the blastbeats may be a bit harsh but the guitars flow and always point out a way for the listener to catch a hold in all the wonderful chaos before him. They show you the path whenever a moment to clarity is needed, for example after roughly two thirds of “Hekate” - the guitars take over after a longer passage of dancing around the blastbeats and then two very different guitar lines make for a highly atmospheric ending.
The doomy parts, take the intro to “Hellfire Club” for instance, also provide a perfect background for Sylvia’s vocals reaching into the Depth of Darkness. Here, for example, she starts the narrative with the words “On a starless night he played god”, a clear sign that nothing good can follow as someone is already at the beginning unmasked to be an impostor to a position that no person can hold.
The only criticism that one might put forward is that, even though they are near-perfect in their own genre, they hardly contribute to its evolution. Nothing on this record is unheard of; it is flawless and captivating, but unique in its own sense? No. Nevertheless, is that really necessary if you are that good at what you do? Maybe we should just follow Sylvia down into this five-song abyss hoping that we find our way out again. The voyage itself should be worth it.