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How Grim Art Thou? Very much.. in this case.. - 79%

SLlMER, March 13th, 2014

This is an interesting split record by two raw black metal bands that all metalheads out there should be on the lookout for as both these bands will be on a come up from this point forward going into the future. Insane Vesper from France are a band that's been in an active and sinister formation for over a decade now that I have somehow been totally unfamiliar with previously to hearing this split. I'm a huge advocate and fan of the French black metal scene and this band was up my alley to say the least. Triumfall come forth from Serbia and along with the awesome Serbian black metal group Propast they prove that Serbia has more than a few legitimate statements to make as far as nowadays black metal is concerned. Each band contributes 2 songs on this release and hence this is a concise offering making for a cohesive and effective split 10" record here. For some reason I'm obsessed with the 10" vinyl format in general (whether is be a split or a bands singular release) and I look forward to hopefully adding a physical copy of this to my collection someday soon. Lets examine what these two bands have brought forth with their music here.

Insane Vesper. Their first song that starts this record off entitled "Enlytened By Blood" gets things going with a building introduction with a simple and stripped-down riff over snare rolls and some nice tom work on the drums. At the 1:25 mark this intro gives way to a sickeningly tortured vocal bellowing as Insane Vesper get to blasting forth with a traditional black metal track that is of a noticeably French-sounding variety. If I didn't know beforehand that this was a French black metal band I would still know that this is a French black metal band - you digg me? This is a good thing. For me at least. As the guitars, drums, and vocals all culminate together and the main crux of this song gets underway there are four distinctive influences at play with Insane Vesper's sound on here that I'm keenly reminded of right away, and those are: Deathspell Omega, Immortal, Mutiilation, and Moonblood. So, needless to say.. these guys are treading some very dark and dissonant territory that I'm really appreciating while listening. "Golden Rays of Unification Shine" continues with a solid, riffy black metal approach that is similar to their first song on here with similarly blasting drums with plenty of double-kick work and tortured vocals that even include some Nattramn-esque (Silencer) sharp huffs and disgruntled heaving throughout. Insane Vesper unleash their musical form of Luciferian witchcraft with a production quality that is raw and dingy, but with everything surprisingly audible, and well-balanced, and even somewhat detailed in the mix here. Think maybe Black Funeral in that regard.

Triumfall. I find this band's two songs contributed to this split to be just slightly more interesting musically and all around just a bit more convincing than Insane Vesper's. However, both bands really are pretty fucking sick here. One look at Triumfall's band photos and we can see some clad fucking leather warriors ready for a bestial black metal war and one may initially be expecting an auditory assault akin to Antaeus, Teitanblood, or Katharsis. Traces of influence from all three of these bands can be found here indeed, however the largest influence at play in the type of black metal that Triumfall are creating is without a doubt Deathspell Omega. This is largely due to the vocals and while a lot of the riffs and the overall arrangements do adhere to a chaotically dissonant and 'experimental' framework, Triumfall imbue these dark and evil chaotic odd-timed musical invocations with a more melodic and traditional sense of riffing than Deathspell Omega ever have (or ever will for that matter.) So take this for what it's worth. Triumfall simply have a more straight-forward and limited sense of melodic phrasing and adhere to a more tried-and-true method of black metal for the most part, which from afar may seem as though it could get mundane or boring rather quickly.. But then some very dark, eerie sections appear from this bands blackened void such as the last 2 minutes of their second track on here (and the final/closing song on this split altogether) entitled "The World Eater" that are so reminiscent of both DsO and say, Antaeus that this Serbian black metal horde almost sound more French than Insane Vesper do themselves.

I will say that this last Triumfall song comes to a rather abrupt ending and I feel like they could have extended this last track considerably, because just as the last 2 minutes of "The World Eater" greatly succeeds at creating a compelling build-up that feels like it should rightfully explode into some insanely ferocious blackened madness, Triumfall oddly piddle out and the track comes to a disappointing ending with very little sense of closure. Part of this is probably due to the fact that only a limited amount of music can fit onto a split 10" and it can only act as an appropriate temple for some somewhat limited song lengths, but if that's the case then the band could have chose a less lengthy and dense composition to include on this split instead which could play itself out in it's entirety without having to cut itself short in any way. The recording quality on the Triumfall side of this split is a little louder, more enveloping, and more powerful and allows their music to take a slightly more lucid and visceral grasp on the listeners psyche.

Overall, this is a worthy release by two underrated satanic black metal bands and I recommend that anyone out there searching for an obscure underground metal release that their collection is currently devoid of should get this split... and that will be.... Well, just about any true black metaller really.