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Dark occult black metal - 90%

Orlok666, February 26th, 2012

Here is a new release I recently purchased from Forever Plagued, it sounded promising and so that combined with the $5 price tag convinced me to take a chance. What we have here is a high quality cd of dark shamanistic occult black metal from Russia, with a very good (yet raw) production and an excellent atmosphere.

The sound of the music is close in some ways to a combination of traditional Norsk style bm (wtih melodic riffs and all that) with elements taken from the demonic black metal scene (i.e. Archgoat, Black Witchery etc.) What this album has is great riffs and songwriting that moves between more death metal oriented riffs, and riffs with melodies and atmosphere. Also from time to time we find riffs that are similar to the strange dark folky riffs of "The Light Devouring Darkness." The whole thing is draped in a morbid dark atmosphere, the cover and presentation of the cd artwork perfectly replicates and accentuates the vibe of the recording.

The vocals are a high point, a mid range scream similar in ways to Behemoth's Nergal or maybe even a bit similar to the Blazebirth Hall in a way. They are mixed fairly dry with some distortion which gives them an aggressive kick. The guitars are given a thick tone and are recorded well, one can hear the notes being played clearly. The bass is there but not high in the mix, seems to work in the normal metal fashion of holding down the bottom end.

The drums are well recorded and organic feeling, no triggered fake sounds here. The drummer plays in a vaired style, while there could have easily just been constant blasts in many songs the drummer throws in fills and in a style that reminds me of a drummer like Grim (Gorgoroth, Borknagar) he varies within each riff, always trying to keep it flowing with the songs.

The real place this album gets its points is originality. Although some iffs are fairly simple and maybe not original by themselves, the way they write their songs and put their arrangements together gives this a distinctive sound. I couldn't mistake this for anyone else because I've only heard a few bands even sound like this. At times it reminds me of Blodfest (the Danish bm band) in the fact that they manage to mix more melodic elements with a primal feeling. Plus we get cool things like interludes with clean guitar and owls hooting that reminds me of Arcknaum.

Also this album wins big time on atmosphere. I would equate the atmosphere with the feeling I get sometimes from Arckanum, being that dark primeval chaos feeling that connects with some ancient part of the human brain. The band states that they are seeking to create a type of chaos shamanic music, and I can see what they mean, in the lyrics (nicely translated for those of us who can't read Russian) they take you on a journey through dark realms, and the music does so as well.

I really recommend this album, you should get it from Forever Plagued Records if you have a love for dark heathen mixed with satanic black metal with a strong atmosphere of dread and transformation.