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Evil, Cold, Malicious & Raw As Fuck - 84%

felix headbanger, February 9th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2017, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

Hailing from Lancaster City in Kentucky, USA, Brood in Black is a two-piece black metal project led by an evil entity called Count Corinth. The band used to be a one-man act during the recording of last year's offering -- which is the material that I am reviewing now -- called "Arrival of Death", but Corinth had added another being into his sacrilegious project this year. I haven't really heard of any material coming from this black metal project prior to listening to "Arrival of Death", whose link was sent to me by the Count himself, but just looking at the DIY cover art already told me that this is not just another symphonic or melodic black metal group playing that overdone modern ala-Dimmu Borgir type of music. And after checking out the whole "Arrival of Death" EP I was pleased and gratified of what I had heard, especially for the fact that Brood in Black's style pays homage to the primitive hordes of BM groups who had raised the banner of black-fucking-metal.

My friends, this EP right here is a fucking straight up raw as hell black metal music. It's fast, bleak, and malicious with a very malevolent environment revolving around it. The overall combination and brew of the instruments in this EP are very cold and raw, but somehow the melodies and the mirthless atmosphere manages to sound haunting and twisted as it blends perfectly with the harsher, inharmonious riffs. Like the earlier Mayhem, Burzum, and Darkthrone records; the guitar tone in this EP is completely razor sharp. The buzzsaw sound of the guitar takes the listeners to a realm of torment and iniquity. That ultra-thin guitar fosters an eerie and hypnotic soundscape that conjures nostalgia of an era ruled by bestial bands from Norway.

Listeners will notice that the bass is inaudible here, well that is because of the reason that there is really no bass present during the recording of this EP. The Count had simply set the guitar tone to low-end, and it is this low-ended guitar that served as a replacement for the absence of a bass. This low guitar tone also plays a greater role than you might think as it brings that hypnotic and gloomy feel into Brood in Black's music. The low-end, yet not too muddy, guitar gives the tracks in this EP that hard-line aggression that the cvlt enthusiasts of the true black metal underground had always been craving for. We can compare the boggy guitar tone to a shadow of certainty that lingers beneath the intense riffs above it. The drum section of the offering is programmed, but unlike most programmed drumming it does not kill the mood as the drums here follow basic patterns that are generally effective at maintaining each song’s power even though sometimes that mechanical sound hovers above.

Moving on to the vocal department of this EP, we would find horrid and ghastly rasped vocal delivery vomited by Count Corinth. It might not be unique and one of a kind, but it sure hell sounds threatening, evil, and dark as of those vocal haulages we can find in the second wave of black metal bands from Norway. Corinth's vocal style also accords with the music that he wants to achieve with the "Arrival of Death". The production of the album is to the same degree as the early Norwegian scene in some standards, but even so, it also has that caliber where the listeners can evidently perceive the presence of the instruments in the record. Most critics and fans usually complain about this kind of production quality, but this style is really a key factor in making a BM offering more dark and noxious. For me, this biting and nippy quality in the production is not really a big issue in this genre as black metal is really not based on well-polished and good quality production. What I am trying to say here is that this album right here is how black metal should sound in its purest form.

All in all, "Arrival of Death" might not be an EP that sets a new standard for contemporary artists to replicate, but its stripped down and austere features sure will satisfy black metal connoisseurs' hunger for hostile and iniquitous music. The fact that Brood in Black's sound is so simple and straightforward only works to the band's benefit. This EP is an excellent release and it deserves to be praised as a very good underground BM output. Brood in Black is one of those twenty-first-century groups that teaches us how staying true to the essence of the BM genre, and utilizing the standard bells of the genre, is enough to assemble a killer record.