Krvna – The Rythmus of Death Eternal 9/10
Hailing from the depths of the Australian black metal is Krvna. Solo artist Krvna Vatra’s vision is as varied and extreme as the releases that have begun from 2021. From ‘’Long Forgotten Relic’’ to the full-length masterpieces of ‘’Sempinfernus’’ and ‘’For Thine is the Kingdom of the Flesh’’ they are hallmarks of black metal. Unique and utterly uncompromising in their own right. The new release ‘’The Rythmus of Death Eternal’’ continues that commitment and intensity.
The three new tracks are lengthy explorations of extreme darkness and the damnation of religious conventions. For their length ‘’ Endless Monument’’ moves with an ease and intensity that makes it feel half that length. The arrangements and incredible guitar work are there, yet it is slightly rawer, more visceral, and immediate, the finely crafted melodies linger long after the feedback has ended.
‘’ A God’s Work’’ takes the temperament to new levels yet delivers it at a slower pace that is more demanding, merciless, and accusatory. The riff and slower sections are so malevolently inflamed that they add yet another component to a diverse artist who is gloriously unafraid to deliver the requirement of the song rather than sticking to convention. ‘’ What Great Lengths’’ is simply more black metal majesty nimble in execution yet capable of causing blunt force trauma.
As an added bonus Abigor is represented with a version of’’ As Astral Images Darken Reality’’ but it is the Bathory cover ‘’Man Of Iron’’ that gets a thorough working over. The Viking-era track is given its most extreme interpretation yet but also retains some of the cleaner moments and multilayered vocals to deliver something new and ultimately unique.
‘’ The Rythmus of Death Eternal’’ is another excellent moment in a rapidly diverse presentation of black metal art that is unbound by its freedom and total commitment to the ethos of evolution. At times elegant whilst being ugly, subtle, yet not so it stands as a superb accomplishment.
Bergrizen – Die Falle 9/10
Ukrainian black metal stalwarts Bergrizen have over the last fifteen years been able to combine ambient folk with black metal and classical arrangements to create a sound that is their own. After the subtlety of their previous release ‘’ Orathania’’ they have returned with a cold black fury that is their seventh masterwork ‘’ Die Falle’’.
Immediate and organic Die Falle is best enjoyed as a singular piece of art, its is majestic yet surrounded in mystery, an album that took three years to complete, singular composer Myrd’raal spent time in hospital with a lung condition and was unsure if the vocals could be completed, guests /session musicians spent time on the frontline and the lack of reliable resources make the completion of Die Falle an accomplishment in its self.
The anger and visceral immediacy of ‘’ Der rituelle Mord (Öffnung der Tore)’’ is balanced by the sumptuous introduction to ‘’Ich vergebe nicht’’ (I will never forget you) and its slow tremolo build into a bleak ode of remembrance. It follows on from the grandeur that is ‘’ Ich vergesse nicht’’ (I do not forget) and its tremendous guitar work and excellent percussion. The vocals are so impassioned and wails authentic that they are tangible and intrinsic to the compositions.
‘’Die Falle (Der Wanderer 3)’’ with its piano and orchestral arrangements is beautifully crafted that makes its descent into the cold black abyss more jarring, the blast beats and violin bridge with screams of agony combine the beauty and bleakness incredibly, and the keyboard laden coda is layered over the blast beats to create the greatest of crescendos.
Elegant with a sense of introspection ‘’ Verschneite Winternacht’’ is the haunting closer with its keyboards and subtle percussion. Poignant and moving Die Falle is a beautiful creation borne from violence and anguish yet littered with moments of subtle beauty. They define the juxtaposition of beauty in darkness, bleakness versus hope, and overcoming adversity. Grandiose and stunning ‘’ Die Falle’’ is essential.
DEMOGORGON – A Hate For All That Grows 8/10
The purity and fire of Australian black metal is instilled in the artist that represents Demogorgon. The Nihilism and lo fi aesthetic are preserved and grown upon with the eight full length release, the aptly titled ‘’A Hate For All That Grows’’.
Bitter, uninviting, and openly hostile the raw recording hides some of the complexity that has become a part of the Demogorgon sound yet the track ‘’Total Fucking Hell’’ speaks for itself with that nineties European fire that still burns along with ‘’Self-Destruct for Satan’’ and that second wave aesthetic.
Written and recorded by Demogorgon himself some other influences are developing throughout the album, from the melodic keyboard parts to the thrashier inspired moments that give it a more metallic edge, ‘’ The Apocalypse Machine’’ destroys with this new momentum, the solos are still manic and raw emotion, yet they contain melody against a backdrop of hate and loathing. ‘’Cold” creates its own atmosphere with the power of the tremolo picking and its sparse vocal lines with some subtle synth work. ‘’ A Lights Bane’’ Combines the old School traditions in an epic track where the speed is tempered by some pain inducing slow riffing and the building sense of dread against a cacophony of percussion that is at times unrelenting. ‘’Omega” is chaotic yet filled with a building evolution that the keys build with atmosphere amongst the growing complexity of the arrangements.
‘’ A Hate For All That Grows’’ is a pure black metal release that revels in its savagery and its rancorous loathing. It is a pure assault that on repeated listens the skilful craftsmanship shines through. It is a statement of darkness and negativity with its hateful notions benefiting greatly from a synthesis of purity and evolution.