Rating: 3/5
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Released: 2021
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Band line-up:

Setian –vocals
SadoMaster –guitars and bass
Gibil –drums


1. Inner Spirit Unchained
2. Ode To The Evening Star
3. Rhyme Of The Crimson Monarch
4. Nyctophilia
5. Horus Rising
6. Ambassadors Of The Storm
7. Giger Enthroned
8. My Tongue Is The Spear Of Longinvs







Ghostly Aerie Coven are an Italian black metal three-piece band, who will be releasing their first full length album ‘Bird of Prey’ on March 31st, 2021 through Vacula Productions. It was recorded at Downstreet Studio in Novara, Italy. The musicians comment on their release ‘“‘Bird of Prey’ is an album with an old school black metal sound but varied at the same time. The lyrics of the songs are about symbolism, to describe reality and its hidden sides.” The band have been inspired by acts including Horna, Sergeist, and Behexen, and artists from other genres, too. To give BM fans a taster of their style, they have released their first single ‘Ode to The Evening Star’. 

There are some fairly nice touches in the music, for example the tasty and slightly extended ending to opening track, ‘Inner Spirit Unchained’, and there are quite a few cool embellishments in the guitar parts throughout the LP. However, really the 6 strings are mostly very typical on the whole with their tremolo-pickiness, and their dark depressive/evil harmonies. They do have a certain intelligence to them, however, just not more so than average. Track ‘Horus Rising’ has a cool doom metal section with some simple though effective drum fills, that teases by ending in seconds. However, the doominess does get developed at the end of the piece, making it one of the standout tracks for me. Doom fans will also be rather pleased with some parts of the closing song. The way they get faster and more intense is almost a little proggy. But not really. Just a bit.

Really, there isn’t much else to say. Just think of any old classic early BM band, and you’ll get a good idea of this stuff. There are occasional highlights as explained, but they’re often in the background and are very easy to ignore. The songwriting is fine, but most songs are around four minutes long, and are far from epic. They’re just forgettable pieces of music in very unadventurous structures. The main guitar riffs of ‘Gigar Enthroned’ (not Cigar) are more wild and interesting, and it’s nice the way they get built upon more than in most of the other tracks, but that song too is somewhat dull in places. There is a cool part in it when the lead guitar is on its own, then the rest of the band joins it with stabs, and finally a more raging, continuous fury. That track is a bit of a standout, as well. 

In conclusion, the band don’t really do anything wrong, it’s just that they rarely do anything truly well and certainly not differently. I say there are standout tracks, but don’t expect them to be black metal classics, and you may not even agree with me. Everyone has different tastes, right? I know that band are going for an old school vibe, but so are thousands of other groups out there, so what is the point, at the end of the day? Not exactly helping things, some of the drum beats are a just a little out of time. There is being raw and having a groove, and then there is sloppiness, but they’re definitely not too bad for the most part. All in all, an unspectacular release. 

Review by Simon Wiedemann