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The opening of the video for Glorior Belli's "They Call Me Black Devil" is shrewd. Showing a letter from Metal Blade denying a budget for the video, it excuses in advance deficiencies in production and emphasizes that the band has not gone soft from a big label signing.

No excuses are necessary, though. The lo-fi video is perfect, down to the footage of band mastermind J. playing acoustic guitar when the song is obviously electric. The whole air is "fuck you", not only visually but also musically.

After the intriguingly transitional Meet Us at the Southern Sign (review), The Great Southern Darkness finds Glorior Belli coming fully into its voice - black metal infused with the blues. This isn't the genteel, white folks blues of the radio, but the droning, aching blues of early 20th century masters.

The synthesis is complete, though. Glorior Belli isn't trying to make a blues record or to shoehorn yet another influence into black metal. This record is more a recognition that black energy didn't start with second or even first wave black metal. That energy has been there as long as night has fallen; Glorior Belli simply taps another source that harnesses that energy.

Danzig comes to mind, not only in the bluesy invocation of black energy, but also in the mid-paced ethos and single-string riffing. Even this title, "They Call Me Black Devil", is Danzig-esque. But Glorior Belli doesn't try to be Danzig, either. The band still loves good old-fashioned black metal tremolo picking; for a more purely black metal version of this record, try J.'s defunct project, Obscurus Advocam, whose Verbia Daemonicus is a forgotten gem.

Finding your own voice often seems to be the most threatening thing in metal. If so, Glorior Belli is at last a threat. No other band sounds like it, which, given high enough quality, usually means stardom or obscurity. I don't think this band seeks "stardom", but it shines more brightly than most in the firmament.

— Cosmo Lee

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"Secret Ride to Rebellion"

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