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"Black Frost - Moon Curse" - 72%

Emptiness Cycle, February 18th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2012, Cassette, Funeral Chants Productions

On paper, this tape should be very compelling. The art is fantastic and the band logo one of the best I've seen in some time. After 75 seconds of an acoustic intro, Fekete Fagy leads immediately into a soundscape far superior to that rendered by any of my expectations.

Hypnotic guitar riffs repeat and sound deeply, deeply cold. The drums are full, and jump from aggressive to slow and ritual-like. It'd be fair of me to compare this to Hunok's latest release, or perhaps some of the more contemporary classics from Scandinavia. There's a great deal of aesthetic here that can be claimed as relatively identifiable, if not totally unique. Most of the tracks start with beautifully executed acoustic parts. The black metal itself has a trademark sound that would nestle the band into a list of modern leaders - yet infuriatingly there's nothing here so unique that people are clamouring for more.

In all fairness to this release, it's an excellent listen - this isn't realised recklessly, as it took me a couple of plays to really gel with it - and it's the final track "Álom" that's the clincher here. It has the most coherent bass on the record , and the entire track is deeply woven around a clearly sorrowful mindset - It's reminiscent of the early days of Xasthur, when Scott was innovative (if he ever was - this will no doubt be a talking point for the 5 or so people that are ever likely to read this).

I've been remiss on really discussing the vocals on here - that's pretty much intentional as I can't put a finger on the right vernacular to use. They're not original, or a clone of anything - just generic but well rehearsed; effectively like the rest of this release. However, it's far above any preconceptions, and I'd be surprised if the group didn't record a second demo and make a name for themselves as one of Hungary's break-out bands.

It'd be nothing short of deserved.