It's always great when a band you loved from their demo days comes out with a full length that you can't help but bend the knee to. Such is the case with Numenorean's debut offering, Home, an album that fulfills all that their demo promised and reminds us that black metal is, in fact, forever. The scene is in a weird place right now and it would be easy to just call anyone doing something different a poser. The thing is, Numenorean reach far beyond that. While many of their peers have turned to post-metal, this band takes those elements and then develops on them. They show us a way forward and act as a reminder that, at the end of the day, black metal is an ever evolving, always changing thing… and we all benefit from that. An album that is beautifully put together, but also disarmingly raw, Home forces you to come back time and time again in honor of something that rises up from the murk and shows us a new way forward.
Black metal is at its best when it touches on the sublime. When the emotions are bombastic and raw, the words deep and meaningful, and a satanic might hinted at. It's the sort of thing that most would never dare to conjure up. Home is almost a romantic record in how it capitalizes on the most transcendent sides of black metal while simultaneously conjuring up images straight from the old school. It speaks to the power of Numenorean as musicians, that they understand so much from so many different time periods of their musical ancestry. Yet they bring in new elements too, and that's what keeps Home vibrant. Sure there are some amazingly human moments (my album highlight is the bellows on "Devour") but at other times Numenorean almost feel like they are coming from another planet. There are some tortured dudes in this band, and Numenorean capitalize on the vile inhumanity of this world. They force you to confront your innermost terrors and guide you through an all encompassing sonic experience. There are simply so many layers at hand that it's impossible to turn away from what the band has conjured up. You simply need to come back time and time again to better understand what is going on.
Numenorean are black metal saviors for a new generation. They are a band who transcend all the old rules, a band who punish you with raw volume but who also can craft things that are deliciously delicate. The sheer quality of the songwriting here forces you to return time and time again for no other reason than that Numenorean have conceived perhaps the most all encompassing and well developed black metal releases since Spectral Lore's III. I'm not sure quite yet if this is the black metal album of the year, but it's certainly up there and it certainly does everything absolutely right. In the end I'm just left wanting more and wondering what will come next from a band who seem destined for glory.