Brazilian one man band Freyr – powered by the not inconsiderable talents of jack of all metal trades Vultus Spiritus – do a great job of sounding like a ‘real’ band on new album The Death Embracing. There’s a tangible sense of cohesion about tracks like the excellent They Only Hear The Silence that really speaks to Mr Spiritus’ talents as a song writer, musician and arranger. If I’d not told you this was a solo project, you’d never know…

Melodic, death-tinged black metal is the order of the day here, with some absolutely ripping guitar work really ramming the band’s message home. He’s a bit of a riffmeister, old Vultus – standout track The Land of the Spirit has a couple of absolute belters but they are literally scattered across the surface of the whole album – and he certainly knows how to inject a bit of theatre and drama into his music. That said, he never lets the songs get away from him, keeping tracks lean and taut and rarely more than five mintes in duration. This gives a real urgency to the material which similar acts often lose as they hurl the kitchen sink at songs in an effort to ‘out epic’ the opposition.

That’s not happening here, and the overall feel – Cradle of Filth at their most direct with a dash of Dark Funeral to taste – is pretty satisfying. This is an album to head bang to furiously rather than contemplate in ebon-clad reverie, and you won’t find me complaining on that score. Fans of Brazilian obscurity may also like to note that Freyr cover countrymen Diabolical Funeral here, and Willian from that band contributes guest backing vocals to a couple of tracks.

That’s a footnote for the completists, however; If you simply an uncommitted observer who enjoys well-played, stirring metal wherever it comes from and whatever genre it comes under, you’ll be pretty stoked with album, too, let me tell you!

The Death Embracing is out now.