Reviewed: May 2020
Released: 2020, Vendetta Records
Reviewer: Kira Levine
What do you get when the members of the bands Unlight, Triumph Of Death and Vredehammer (from Germany, Switzerland and Norway respectively) collaborate? A mix of pulverising death vocals, shattering black metal screams and otherworldly chorals that perfectly balance each other out. These are delivered over highly atmospheric yet often aggressive instrumentation.
Seamlessly switching from conveying a calming sinister vibe to a devastatingly alluring one, ‘Serpent Uncoiling’ showcases a great blend of choirs and unclean vocals. It’s quite hard to imagine how rest of the record could surpass or even match this song, but the title track is indeed only a taste of things to come.
‘Nahemoth’ demonstrates Sinistral King have no desire to do things by halves, with its gargantuan vocals and creeping solos. The echoing of the chorus lyrics provide a lingering sinister tone, with the interplay between death and black vocals during the verses being an unexpected highlight. A resurgence of the piano melody heard at end of track one makes an appearance mid-song which connects the two nicely. The enunciation of ‘Nahemoth’ in unison with the choir singers brings the darkly majestic song towards its finale.
Echoing choral vocals introduce ‘Isheth Zenunim’, which is Hebrew for “woman of whoredom”. Spellbinding guitar solos coupled with the chanting of the song title make the song feel like a highly-infectious incantation.
Penultimate track ‘Fields Of Necromance’ implements a few of its predecessor’s techniques, bringing to mind a recital of a dark hymn, especially during its outro.
Like on all previous songs, ‘Where Nothingness Precedes Cosmos’ boasts great stick work, especially in the less atmospheric parts. The rhythm section stands out as particularly memorable here, perhaps due to the song’s abruptly heavy start and finish.
While listeners will not be presented with anything completely revolutionary, there is something about the way each song has been constructed that will keep you pleasantly surprised. None of five tracks on this album come across as underwhelming or filler material, as each one feels as intricately woven as the other. Sinistral King is a stellar release, with the experience and finely honed talents of the trio shining through brightly.