Released: 2006, Apocalyptic Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
Released independently last year, this strikes me as somewhat of a lost treasure, much in the same way that Semargl did. With strong, potent production and crisp, forceful guitars accentuating a dynamic, developed songwriting style, I would say this is the culmination of many a Black Metaller’s years of listening to Marduk, Dark Funeral, and German Thrash.
The German influences are subtle, within the contexts of the thrashy song structures and vocals, which are often as evocative of Sodom and Kreator as they are of Witchery.and Obtained Enslavement. Vocalist Khaine has a solid rasping snarl that never wavers or sounds weak. His death-screech is one for war. Guitarist Hymer is built for speed, and slick as the blood on the tracks. His memorable riffing gives life to a subgenre that any number of bands might leave faceless. Surt’s drumming is constant and consistant, and while a bit monotonous with its unending penchant for blastbeats and machine-gun fills, never feels out of place or less than what it should be.
Comparable to mid-period Marduk, but with numerous Norwegian influences and a thrashy Witchery-esque sneer giving it an ever-present demonic sense of identity, this is a solid release, and I struggle to find a weak track on here. Ultimately, some grimmer-than-thou types might read this as being Blackened cock-rock, but it’s nothing of the type. With loads of variation on tracks like “From Cold Dark Caverns” and “Martyr Complex,” this is a perfect blend—stout and hellish—of Swedish and Norwegian styles, and any fan of harsh-yet-memorable Black Metal should love this…as much as they love anything.