Roel de Haan : It has been ten years since Cor Scorpii released their debut album ‘Monument’, which immediately gave them the reputation as the rightful heirs of Windir’s legacy. But then it became quite silent. The Sognametal style slowly faded in popularity and I pretty much had no hope for a new album by these Norwegians. But lo and behold! ‘Ruin’ is here!
Cor Scorpii’s style is easily recognisable as Sognametal; melodic, classically inspired black metal that shows its melancholy only when one really takes the effort to listen carefully. On ‘Ruin’ Cor Scorpii more or less continues in the same vein as ‘Monument, but there are certainly some differences. Keyboards are more prominently used which lends the album a certain symphonic touch, which isn’t done often in this very particular style. There is also a more pronounced place for clean vocals and while the male ones are typical for this style, there is also room for female vocals, provided by guest Annika Beinnes, These sound fresh and remind me a bit of Kari Rueslåtten and Dismal Euphony. The folk touch is ever present but never annoyingly so; even instruments like the accordion and mandolin are used elegantly. Yet Cor Scorpii’s main attraction is that they can combine all these elements with scorching blasts soaring riffing and raucous screams. Soothing yet fierce, uplifting yet melancholy; ‘Ruin’ is a very pleasant rollercoaster of musical contradictions. Melodic black metal fans (and Windir fans specifically) are urged to check this out.