Cor Scorpii, from Norway, certainly cannot be defined as a prolific band. Formed in 2004, they released their debut LP in 2008 (Monument), and their sophomore album (Ruin) ten years after the first. And this is honestly a shame because both of their records are really valuable and enjoyable to hear.
The music played by Cor Scorpii has remained substantially unaffected by the time gap between their two releases and it consists of a kind of melodic black metal which results extremely fascinating and suggestive. The songs of Ruin have a sound and an arrangement that remain extremely uniform across the entire record and the effect is that the songs seem quite similar to each other, at least at first listening. It’s not easy therefore to isolate a track that stands out from the others, but at the same time the average level of quality of the album is absolutely high and it remains stable during the entire LP.
From a musical point of view, the songs of Ruin are built on a similar construct: there are layers of keyboards which prepare the field for the tremolo of the guitars, on top of which the rest of the song develops, with also very nice and intriguing guitar solos to complete the picture. The album is plenty of reminiscences of ancient folklore and Baroque classical music. Consequently, Car Scorpii’s sound will be enjoyed by everyone who likes those cases where heavy metal is impregnated with nice and catchy melodies. On the contrary, Ruin is unlikely to be appreciated by the intransigent metalheads which only look for the brutality and the nichilism of conventional black metal.
Stilistically speaking, the songs of Ruin present a good alternation between slow and fast sections as well as between sections featuring the classical guttural voice and other parts where we can enjoy delicate choruses of female voices.
The final result is absolutely good: the various elements of the songs are balanced very well and there aren’t components which overtop the others. The eight tracks of the album flow naturally one after the other and it’s extremely easy to enjoy the entire set of 53 minutes in one single run.
In short: Ruin is a great record that could also help many listeners to approach black metal for the first time. It’s nice and well played, and the hope at this point is that we shall not wait for other ten years before the next encounter with Cor Scorpii.
Ruin can be streamed from Spotify. My favorite tracks are Aeralus, Svart Blod and Helveteskap.