Sunday, 18 September 2011

Between Scylla and Charybdis

There is a foul smell in the air. The mixture of treachery, incompetence and selfishness breeds destruction, but he who is used at living in darkness has nothing to fear from such a shallow danger of purely materialistic nature.

...a couple of months ago a proud lioness was born, reinforcing my already strong beliefs, enhancing my emotions towards the things I love and the ones I loath. Now, the rest of the world can go and fuck itself. I have got all I need. World...beware.

In the midst of all that haze, the (under)world continues to vomit some things of actual interest and value. Nightbringer launched their third assault to the forces of light in the guise of Hierophany of the Open Grave. The band's first two records have been landmarks that established them in the elite of occult black metal of modern times. On their new work they continue the course that is expected by worthy practitioners of the art. Hierophany of the Open Grave is an improvement in every aspect. Nightbringer use more weapons to achieve the unique atmosphere they usualy do. The guitar playing is more varied this time, while pianos, acoustic guitar and chanting are being used in an extremely tasteful and skilful manner just to contribute to the creation of the hypnotic atmosphere and never overshadowing it. Above all Nightbringer introduce the melody for the first time in their music. This previous 'unmelodic' approach was one of my favourite aspects of the band's songcraft, so I was kind of sceptical the first time I listened the album. Such concerns vanished completely with the repeated listening as I started being engulfed in the darkness of Hierophany...  All in all, a work that is in harmony with the depth and seriousness of the band. One step closer to the pantheon of black metal.   
Arckanum have been unusually prolific the last four years, HelvĂ­tismyrkr being their fourth record in said period. Truth be told from 2008's Antikosmos which I studied carefully, my interest started to fade with every new record. The new one though changed that, grabbing me by the first moment and never letting me off its claws. HelvĂ­tismyrkr is an honest effort by one of the most consistent individuals of the scene. Melodic when needed, baptized in the darkest waters of thrash and heavy metal it will steal 45 minutes of your worthless lives without you even noticing and it will enrich it with the powers of the forces of utter chaos. 

I leave you with the covers of two records that are on their way from hell and have already won me over with their visual aesthetics...

Rex Mundi - IHVH
Kaosritual - Rituell Katarsis 
Hrizg  - Inferno
Demonic Rage - Evoking The Pestilence
Ensnared- Ensnared
Obscure Infinity - Dawn of Winter