Hailing from Spain and brand new to me, Erzsebet have unleashed their full-length debut full of symphonic black metal and immediately made me take notice of the band. These songs have some solid hooks incorporated into them, and I think the biggest surprise for me is there are not any overly long epics. The band have not wasted a moment across the 36 minutes on the album. I do not have much information on the band, other than what I have pulled off their Facebook page. They released an EP back in 2021 which will likely be my next purchase. Our subject matter here appears to be solely focused on Elizabeth Bathory whose number of victims has been reported to be 650.

I appreciate that the band has crafted a few shorter instrumental pieces that lead into some of the songs with ‘Redemption of Evil’ providing an orchestra fueled start to the album. The pace increases and leads into the blast beat and scream to start ‘The Chest with the Thousand Spikes.’ One of the main comparisons that comes to mind is Cradle of Filth without Dani’s high pitch screams and shrieks. With the singer taking on the role of Erzsebet, she delivers a wide variety of vocals across the album (and this opening song) with her growls providing clear annunciation to some clean vocals and various screams. This first full song sees the band create a song with an epic feel in just four minutes. ‘The Cage the Torch and Corpses’ roars to life with an urgency and vitality. The guitar leads are used perfectly here, and the mix allows everything to be heard. The keyboards provide a nice contrast and add to the ambiance. The tempo makes the song feel like a march down into the depths of someone’s hell.

‘Crystalline Sparkles on Bluish Skin’ begins with a moment that reminds me of a slower moment from CoF’s ‘Dusk and Her Embrace.’ The band then go on a journey where the tempo varies considerably but partly settles into a mid-tempo rhythm that is extremely catchy. This is combined with a chorus that also hooks its way into the brain and has become one of my early favorites from the album.  This song surges past the four-minute mark but remains under five minutes; I am curious to see if the band slowly begin to expand their songs in the future. The band return to an instrumental passage with ‘Spectral Cortege’ providing a soundtrack to our journey through a dark passage deep underneath the castle where victims are kept… at least that is what I think is happening. Cutting guitar riffs ring in ‘Daughters of Zemans.’ The band up the tempo here with a few little twists along the way. Some haunting sound effects introduce instrumental ‘Lunar Liturgy’ which starts with a slower methodical pace and continues to build with some excellent drum work. In my mind, this sequence has Bathory committing some of her unspeakable acts.

Whispering vocals introduce us to ‘Somewhere in Csejthe’ where the band ramp up the intensity but keep the tempo slower. This has been a song that has really benefitted from every listen of the album as it has a lot of layers packed into it. One of the early singles follows in ‘Wherefore’ which has a great vocal hook built into it. Erzsebet receives her sentence of forever being in her castle at the beginning of the song. Musically, the band builds into some great crescendos throughout the song as well. It was a great choice for an introduction to potential listeners and speaks to the strength of the album that both singles appear near the very end of it. Fellow single ‘Domina Vestra’ comes next where the guitar hook is what got under my skin first. The mix of vocals in the song add extra layers of depth to the drama taking place in the story. ‘Sirfelirat’ provides our closing outro with the howling wind giving way to some spoken vocals that are placed deeper in the mix. The drums give the feeling of someone pounding on a heavy wooden door as their energy leaves them.

I am writing this review after only a handful of listens because it immediately captured me and will be garnering a lot of listens going forward. I am excited to watch the band continue to grow in the years to come, as they have released an excellent debut that immediately raises expectations moving forward. If you are looking for some symphonic black metal or love Cradle of Filth, I think this album will be one you want to give a listen. Now, I will dive back into the album!

‘Six Hundred and Fifty’ is available now. Buy Here


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Author: Gerald Stansbury