Reviewed: September, 2020
Released: 2020, Inferna Profundus Records
Reviewer: Jack Merry
Certain readers of Metal-Rules may be surprised to find out that this split EP created by UK band Abduction and Canadians Nocturnal Prayer is my first real experience with the genre of black metal. Entitled Intercontinental Death Conspiracy, the seven-track EP serves as my introduction; my rite of passage into the cold, deafening and desolate landscapes and catacombs of the genre.
I’ve gotta say, I’m really impressed with what Abduction and Nocturnal Prayer both bring to the table. Both projects are presented here in a cross-continental pact of relentless obsession with death and rebirth; a bleak offering taking its listeners on a downward spiral through the harsh and unrelenting passages of Hell. Beginning with Abduction, Mass Extinction Salvation immediately sets the tone for the EP with a hushed introduction utilizing some gorgeous synth sounds before the roar of the guitars and the pummelling drums kick in. It’s an arresting track, and Astral Projection is somehow even heavier. It’s a cacophony of unadulterated noise, but at 03:10 an excellent riff takes over and carries the song to its blistering end. What’s equally impressive is that Abduction is just one man, Phil Illsley (known as A/V), who provides vocals and all instruments.
Cremation Sickness and In Ceaseless Night both deal with cosmic nihilism, with progressive lengthy passages and heavy droning riffs underneath growled vocals propelling the tracks to their grim end. The blast-beat drumming is particularly vicious; it gives the feeling of a freight train rattling along at high speeds, ready to derail at any moment, but every turn sees the track anchored down. It’s a thrilling sense of ferocity and danger topped with meaty guitar parts, and I love it. Abduction absolutely know what they’re doing and I can’t wait to dig into more of their music.
Nocturnal Prayer take over for the second half of the EP, and launch into gear with the fantastic Leading The Tumbrels Of Afflict as guitars drenched in reverb echo around a propulsive drum pattern and gritty vocals. The production is a little more monochromatic than what Abduction served up, forcing a certain dryness to the drums, guitars, and overall tone. It’s painfully bleak yet there’s a sense of comforting nostalgia; wrapping the listener in a warm blanket despite the dour, humourless sound.
Drink The Kindled Flask Of Long and Solar Sanctums Raped by Calamit are definitive black metal tracks; both are incredibly relentless and brutal in their delivery. Guitars buzz as the vocals howl atop furious drum beats and thumping bass lines as the Nocturnal Prayer duo launch an all-out assault on the senses.
This EP is a must-have for any fan of the black metal genre, and it would also work really well as an entry point for newcomers into the barren, melancholic, and miserable world of black metal. As a newcomer myself, there’s a lot here to love and the good far outweighs the criticisms that I have; one of which being black metal vocals in general. It’s more of a personal preference than an actual negative point as it will take some time for me to get used to this vocal style. Fans of the genre will absolutely love this and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking to get a quick fix of stark, gloomy metal in these strange and uncertain times.
01. Abduction – Mass Extinction Salvation
02. Abduction – Astral Projection
03. Abduction – Cremation Sickness
04. Abduction – In Ceaseless Night
05. Nocturnal Prayer – Leading The Tumbrels Of Afflict
06. Nocturnal Prayer – Drink The Kindled Flask Of Long
07. Nocturnal Prayer – Solar Sanctums Raped By Calamit
Phil Illsley (vocals, all instruments)
Murder (vocals, guitars, bass)