Written by: Valkyrjiaa
Release Date: March 11th, 2022
Black Metal from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Label: Somnolence Productions
Never doubt the metal that the Great White North can unleash when you least expect it. Summoned by blackened clouds that have been settling on the horizon since 2011, Idol of Fear is unrefined, and unmarked in their power. Formed to turn the gloom that surrounds us into something tangible, Idol of Fear has been creating music for several years, dedicating themselves to mastering their skills as it is something they do not approach with light hearts.
After releasing two full-length albums, All Sights Affixed, Ablaze (2014), and Grave Aperture (2018), the newest album Trespasser is unveiled as a contribution of creative ideas with new musical experimentations, and lyrics that relate on a personal level.
The first track, “The Flayed Horizon” is atmospheric black metal at its finest; utilizing subtle background noise to build tension and unease. True terror is unveiled at 1:30 with raspy vocals coming through enchanting by rhythmic drums. This track sounds like a cursed hymn, one that calls upon a darkness from the great beyond to unleash utter pandemonium unto the masses. It drags out its tune like a deep wound, endless and refusing to heal as it picks up ever so gently at the 4-minute mark to truly build on the album’s character.
“Cheirotonia” builds on cryptic backing chants that are as ominous as they are alluring. The bang of drums quickly silences the wonder, pulling you through the veil and boasting a frightful display of harsh vocals and low bass that torments you throughout. It’s sorrowful, feeling reminiscent of reflection rather than the fear of something bad to happen. The slow melody takes its time, ensuring you feel the atmosphere fill with nostalgic dread before calmly escorting you down the hall into a room of complete despair.
An almost eerie techno vibe comes through on “Phantom”, making the haunting vocals more anxiety-inducing as they teeter on feelings of contempt and regret. The lingering riff in the background cranks up the energy to be one less low and dragging to one that grinds at the back of your mind, and crawls along your spine. Drums take full attention near the end of this track, with fierce symphonics tailing around to level out the viciousness underlying this song’s tones.
The title track, “Trespasser” lingers on the notes of impending doom with a sound that borders tinnitus. Once more the vocals take a backseat to let the instrumentals shine as Fleshgod Apocalypse-like piano keys come into the fold. It hints at a spiritual take, with organs foretelling the exploration of a dark masquerade that is a mere cover-up for some forbidden discovery. It’s a walk down the blackened hall of a ruined Temple in a realm long forgotten and sealed away. The instrumentals of this track are exquisite, overtaking the vocals with ease as you’re lost in the sound, taken in by the vivid images your mind creates as it plays through.
“Alone With You” is a heavy-hitter, ramping up the atmosphere with siren-like guitars, and steady drums that hammer upon the mind. This track touches on betrayal, with a heavy heart echoed out by low bass and vicious vocals to create a violent display of atmospheric discomfort. It borders on familiarity, yet still staying just out of reach with its own unique sound.
“Endless” is the finale of the album and offers sorrowful keys met with a ghostly melody. It pulls the album in to give it closure, bringing the pain, torment, and eeriness together for a perfect end. There is no need for vocals, or lyrical finesse, just the somber echo of resonation bringing a supposed peace.
The Bottom Line
Familiar with much of the Canadian metal scene, Idol of Fear stands out as a band offering variety and passion through their creative experimentation and discovery. Trespasser is sure to bring familiar listeners and new to their knees with terrifying vocals, chaotic melodies, and beautiful instrumentals that certainly made me raise my eyebrows in surprise.
Favourite tracks: Trespasser, Endless