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Intense showcase of two one-man BM acts - 75%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, June 5th, 2013

Released on the Crepusculo Negro and Rhinoceros labels in 2011, this split recording showcases two one-man acts from the California-based Black Twilight Circle black / death metal network, Volahn and Tukaaria.

Volahn leads the way with two tracks "Nacom" and Tormentia Nativo", and a fine set these are. "Nacom" is essentially an introduction to "Tormentia ...", presenting a hypnotic instrumental guitar-ambient piece of dark psychedelia: sparkling acid-jewel guitar melody undulates around you like intoxicating perfume and gentle waves of noise, suggestive of gentle ocean swell, rise and fall in the background. Then "Tormentia ..." falls gleefully upon us with battering-shattering tin-lid percussion, wild and deranged twiddle-guitar rantings and salivating swamp-monster vocals that sometimes turn into howls of the damned. This tactic of using soft and gentle music to beguile listeners and draw them into a trap isn't different from what I've heard Volahn do on some other recordings as himself and as Axeman but in small doses as here, it's bearable. As long as the trap is equal in hellishness to the work done in setting up the ambush, I'm happy to be mesmerised. And "Tormentia ..." does turn out to be a good track, especially in its last few minutes where more of that spiky diamond guitar dominates while the vocals scream tortured despair and anguish.

Tukaaria does good work too with a deeper, less noisy and acid sound. There's just as much chaos though in the myriad demon voices all fighting to be heard above the din of runaway guitar and incessant tinny percussion. There are repeating riffs which give songs some structure to hang from. Tukaaria's modus operandi is not to bother with pretty dream music to lure his prey; no, he just goes straight for your jugular, figuring that the time saved means more time for serious sledge-hammering. Yet his music is no less of a mind-rape than Volahn's.

Of the three tracks, the second "Giver of Oblivion" is the stand-out: it has an immersive, almost chiming sound as the voices continue their moaning and howling from the previous track.

Overall this is an intense and submersive listening experience that fair cleans out the mind of pollution gathered during the day friom contact with sheeple and other aspects of modern slave society. You know you need mental cleansing and if the dirt is deep enough, you need the kind of hard-driving guitar barrage these two acts can offer. I'd like to hear something longer from these two acts, to see if they can sustain a long-playing album with their musical approaches.