Written In Torment is a one man solo project hailing from picturesque Harrowgate, Yorkshire and is the brainchild of Leviathan. Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes (latin for "The war of all against all", which coincidentally is the description that is given in the nature thought experiment "Leviathan") is the first full length release after a very successful EP, and it even features guest session keyboardist Jonny Maulding of Bal-Sagoth fame. It was released via Glorious North Productions on 14th May 2013.
Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes main theme is based on warfare (as the explanation of the title suggests). It's hard hitting, spiteful and vindictive black metal with a completely unique sound within the UKBM scene. Instead of repetitive riffs and tinny blast beats that's common in a lot of venomous black metal, there's skilled guitar work, melodic keys and an undertone of classic and decent thrash/death metal. The vocals are less "screechy" and have more depth and clarity, but still stays firmly in the "black metal sound". From start to finish no 2 songs sound alike, and even the album as a whole is hard to compare to other artists work as the sound is rather unique. This album's bedrock is great musicianship which very clearly can be heard throughout each track, from tremolos and hypnotic rhythm guitar to a variant of machine gunfire drums and well choreographed percussion. The bass is very rarely heard in the mix, but every so often it strays from the rythum guitar to follow a very melodic pattern with the vocals.
The production on this album is fantastic, even though it isn't produced in a fashion that's typical of black metal (I.e gritty DIY sound). It transforms the album further, you can pick apart and properly listen to each track, which is very refreshing to hear. Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes has been in the works for 7 long years, but it's been well worth the wait. I can't really fault the album at all, although I'd recommend the first time listening to it should be in a distraction free environment, so you can really appreciate it from the first instance.
I recently read that the UKBM scene was full of "bands and projects that release substandard music on underground, inaccessible labels and yet somehow still consider themselves to be black metal gods. This assembly of amateur musicians that support themselves and each other in their pathetic musical ventures has caused most black metal fanatics to cease interest in the UK". Not only does Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes completely obliterate this statement but the previous albums I've reviewed and come into contact with do too. Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes shows to rest of the world what the UK is made of.
You can still purchase Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes here.
Find out more about Written In Torment via their Facebook page.