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Stormruler – ‘Sacred Rites and Black Magick’

Napalm Records
Immortal, Dissection, Dawn, Stormkeep, Emperor, Marduk
Release Date
October 14, 2022
Napalm Records
Black Metal

Stormruler is creating forward-looking black metal by focusing its gaze on the past. While war, history, and fantasy are typically the realm of power metal, this St. Louis duo is covering these subjects with the cold atmosphere of black metal.

Jesse Schobel and Jason Asberry have managed to balance a fine line between staying true to the established ways of black metal, while simultaneously crafting songs that are easy to listen to and melodic. The tremolo picking is there. The shrieking vocals are there. But the drums have room to breathe and the grooves are memorable. The band isn’t afraid to slow down and compose a melody to capture the listener throughout. Rather than serving the tropes of black metal, Stormruler seeks to serve the stories they are weaving.

Interspersed all through the album are synth-heavy instrumentals of triumph and medieval flair. These are but preludes before the next track crash down with guitar, drum, and vocal ferocity.  Despite being twenty songs long the album is well-paced. Any black metal fan should immediately add this album to their collection, while beginners would find this a great entry point to the genre as it manages to forgo the abrasive obviation of other black metal bands while still holding a keen edge.

"captures the listener throughout"

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