Monday, December 10, 2018 02:59

Posts Tagged ‘Nykta’


Monday, November 14th, 2011

Five sprawling tracks of atmospheric Black Metal and three enjoyable instrumentals combine to deliver almost 70 minutes of intriguing stuff. For me, there has always existed a very fine line between atmospheric and rubbish in BM, so it’s a relief to report that GrimSpirit manages to execute some very atmospheric fare without eschewing the sense of harsh menace that is so essential if an artist is to remain true to the Black Metal flag.

On ‘Wintermoon Enchantment’ – his fourth full length and first in three years – the sole Pole behind this project demonstrates that he has honed his art to a fine tee, seamlessly blending dissonant, raw-ish Black Metal with more ambient parts, culminating in an album that’s both ugly and beautiful, worthy of listening by candlelight or perhaps on earphones as you walk through dense woodlands beneath the pale glow of a shimmering moon.

While I believe this is a very good album within its own obvious limitations, I should stress that I wouldn’t expect fans of Marduk or Dark Funeral to appreciate it. But those who are fond of bands like Celestia, Drowning The Light, Marblebog and perhaps even Graveland and their ilk might find something here to sink their vampyric teeth into. There are a lot of synths on this CD but they don’t spoil it so I’m giving ‘Wintermoon Enchantment‘ a definite thumbs-up.

Evilometer: 444/666


Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

This is a really dull album. I mean that in a good way. Danes Gravsorg play an excruciatingly dreary form of depressive Black Metal that has the same effect on the senses as the darkest funeral doom. The mood is sombre and negative, from the cold, oppressive opening strains of the ‘Intro’ right through to the closing melancholic meanderings of ‘Preferred Exit Part II’. I genuinely felt like killing myself for the entire 36 minutes and, to be honest, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

For those who love music full of nothing but negative feeling, ‘Visions Of Depression’ is a masterpiece. But for older, more mature folk like myself, who are getting closer to the cold grave and starting to shit themselves and think that maybe we have something to live for after all, it could be too much. It could push you over the edge, upset your happy equilibrium and send you reaching for the nearest razor blade / box of pills / elevator / rope / machete / car keys / or whatever.

Bleak, crestfallen and without any hope of salvation, these guys have created an album so suffocatingly depressive that it should come with a health warning or a shotgun. Yet, there is something beautiful and blissful about the whole thing. Even though I won’t listen to this a great deal in the future – and I certainly won’t subject my children to it – I’d still rate ‘Visions Of Depression’ as a bit of an unheralded classic.

Released back in 2009, this slow-paced, chilling exercise in morbid misery (like a darker but less enticing Hypothermia) is the fuzzy antidote to the naivety and dumb happiness of the FaceBook / iPhone / reality TV generation and should accumulate a significant bodycount by the time it disappears off the face of the planet. It is dull at times (deliberately) and the album just seems to dwindle away at the end, petering out without warning, but I’m sure that’s all in keeping with the artists’ disposition.

Evilometer: 444 / 666


Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Two minutes into exquisite opener ‘Da Nossa Carne’, I suspected that ‘Claustrophobia’ – the third full-length from Portuguese duo InThyFlesh – was going to be very special indeed. Some 54 minutes later, my hunch was confirmed to be correct: this is a spectacular slab of supreme Black Metal that succeeds on so many levels that I barely know where to start.

While the previous album ‘Lechery Maledictions And Grieving Adjures To The Concerns Of Flesh’ was decent, I was not prepared for the perfection of this release. The strength of ‘Claustrophobia’ lies in the simplest of factors; InThyFlesh have essentially done all the basic things right and the result is mind-blowingly brilliant.

All the instruments are (de)tuned to perfection, the performances are commendable; the compositions ideal; the production clear and crisp. This all results in nine stunning BM anthems imbued with emotion, pathos and more feeling than a colony of torture chambers. The second track ‘Abismo Interior’ soars through the speakers with intent, a sumptuous pure Black Metal masterpiece, with plaintiff guitars and desperate vocals, the screeches picking at the flesh, the music itself tattooing itself upon the exposed subconscious.

Devaneios De Rejeição’ is even better, an evocation of ancient hurt escorting us on a transcendental journey to the darkest of places / times. Harrowing and majestic, this is Black Metal the way it was imagined by the scene’s forefathers, delivered with a style, panache and verve that would put modern-day Darkthrone to shame. Though the content is overwhelmingly negative, the album succeeds in making a wholly positive impression. It’s that good.

I’ve listened to ‘Claustrophobia’ ten or twelve times already and it doesn’t lose any of its appeal with repeated listening. The ten-minute ‘Hasteado Ao Infortúnio’ remains compulsory, addictive and essential, meandering with tempo and mood changes, fluctuating through realms of hate and disgust, tormented vocals to the fore, ripping at the soul, the traditional BM music tempered by ambient parts acting as a perfect companion. This is the most ambitious song on the album and it works magnificently.

Other songs worth a particular mention are the epic, anthemic lament ‘Perdição No Vício d’Austeridade – definitely the strongest track on the album – and the stunningly sorrowful ‘Alvoroço De Antecipação’, both of which would be worthy of their place of any landmark Black Metal album. All in all, ‘Claustrophobia’ delivers some of the most incredible, raw, emotional BM you’re going to hear this – or any other – year. Utterly mandatory.

Evilometer: 666/666