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One Album, One Landmark - 90%

TheSlayFer, February 1st, 2019
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Terratur Possessions (Digipak)

Norwegian Black metal band One Tail, One Head has unleashed their debut album which is also sadly their last. The band went through various tribulations in the process of making this album and what they created as their last hurrah is quiet the impressive feat of musicianship on their part.

The most noteworthy aspect of the music is how it stays true to the style and atmosphere of Norwegian Black metal while also branching and experimenting in very unique ways. The bass work by Andras Marquis is the biggest standout performance on the album, its heavy, forceful but never overpowering or distracting from the rest of the performances which are equally good and outstanding in their respective areas. Guitarist Åsli displays a style that would make any tremolo picking enthusiasts happy while also surprising them from how layered and complex the riffs and melodies are, in songs like the instrumental hymn Sordid Sanctitude the guitar work is much more atmospheric and controlled creating a dark ambiance that is punctuated by the forceful bass and drum work and perfectly complimented by the harsh and howling vocals by Luctus.

That is what makes the album stand out in terms of sound and style, while it gets grim and dark as expected from Black metal, the progressive and avant-garde direction a good portion of the album takes makes it much more dynamic and sprawling that makes it much more enjoyable on repeated sit troughs where all the experimentation and grand scale can be fully appreciated and it complements the more aggressive tracks without feeling disjointed or if the band spliced two different albums, all the tracks are arranged in a way where there’s a flowing pace that makes the changing tone of the songs have a hard impact.

However while band did branched out and flexed their musical chops well enough, that doesn’t mean the album is a complete Shift into Progressive metal, the aggression and madness of Black metal is in full display as well, songs like Firebirds and Stellar Storms are the big standouts where the band fully embraces the spirit of “True Norwegian Black Metal” in chilling violence.

The last noteworthy elements of the album are the instrumental intro and interlude, they could be considered the weakest part of the album since they are just soundbites to bridge into better tracks but they are worth mentioning because they manage to be two tracks in their own right and a good preamble. The interlude “An Utter Lack of Meaning, Hitherto Unbeknownst, Suddenly Revealed” in particular is what bridges the experimental side with the much more aggressive side and does so seamlessly through the band’s understanding of how to create a menacing atmosphere that fits both the dark and melancholic with the violent and wrathful.
Best tracks: Stellar Storms, Sordid Sanctitude, Firebirds.