VOID PRAYER "The Grandiose Return to the Void" [LP, CD, Pro tape]
In an attempt to describe the meaning of a musical piece, words are like a shadow play. They can only outline postures and movements in a very crude and rigid way. Lyrics can hold an immense amount of power and may be the means of a justified description. However, in this case, to reveal the lyrics would mean to divide an ensemble of contextual unity. Besides, without a musical context present at all times, words would become merely assertive speech expressed in metaphors that, most likely, no one will ever understand.
„The Grandiose Return to the Void“ is exactly what the title proclaims.
OBSKURITATEM "Hronika iz mraka" [LP, CD, Pro tape]
“Hronika iz mraka” portrays its mysterious ways in an evocative form, as a storm gathering on the horizon, an entity awakening from a dreadful slumber: you hear the voices, the call, the curse. The raw sound fills the air with a dense unquiet agitation, as the songs ensue the melodies stir the heartbeat, we are reminded of our existence limitations. No pride, but dust and despise.
Preserving the analogic touch on the overall production, Obskuritatem presents tempo variations that never allows you to predict what the following move is, moments of false serenity, chorus with Ur’s wraith presence singing of your disgrace. Unrelenting, majestic, spiteful. The stench of false triumph may inebriate you as the album reaches its final notes but there’s no conquest after such iniquitous encounter. The smell is from your decay. We fall. We are nothing. Obskuritatem means corruption of balance, the erasure of the threshold between this world and whatever nightmares you keep being held to. It represents decadence, the derelict outcome of human existence.
LAMP OF MURMUUR "The Burning Spears of Crimson Agony" [LP, Pro tape]
Following a string of outputs since latter year’s inception, this one-man cluster released “The Burning Spears of Crimson Agony”, a demo comprised of four tracks, two contemplative ambient interludes and two long epic compositions. While the interludes deliver an atmosphere and reflective quality, both parts of “A Burning Spear to the Heart of Dawn” strike with might and thrust and leave the listener in awe for a true majestic ordeal of raw yet melodic Black Metal is at hand. Enthralling and somber, here lie the overall ingredients that complete Lamp of Murmuur’s recipe.
NIDERNES "Vengeance, Herald of My Despite" [Digipack CD]
Debut demo from this Portuguese entity. Austere and somber, three tracks of genuinely obscure Black Metal with a truly intense atmosphere.
BORDA’S ROPE “Nearer the Shores of Kothal” [LP]
Comprised of three long tracks, the US wraith engulfs the listener on a treacherous journey masterfully channeling distorted harsh riffing, primitive and rude yet conveying a disturbing sense melody, hypnotic drumming impulses, with a ruthless vocal performance grasping absolute misanthropic hatred and cruel spite. As established on previous releases, the necrotic grim sound production once again wholly suits the music for Borda’s Rope crude and savagely creates an uncanny sense of sonic distress, a mystical atmosphere emanating a stench akin to audial rotten flesh. The lo-fi reverberations of already trance-inducing pieces are a match made in fire and brimstone, a barbaric sadistic tone exhaling from the void like a rusty dagger into our soul.
DEOGEN "The Endless Black Shadows of Abyss" [LP]
Deogen arrives with a piercing recipe of intense Black Metal summoning an aura of cosmic darkness, a dense set of tracks revealing a range of freezing cold riffs and austere somber vocals interlaced with subtle tasteful keyboard passages that exhibit a perfect mix of violence and harmony. The sonic work on “The Endless Black Shadows of Abyss” works wonders for the group’s style, a crude organic sound free of plastic endeavors, instead capturing an arcane feeling. As this opus unveils, a sinister aura permeates as we are left with an eerie sensation of distress. Deogen’s presence is grandiose yet wrathful as a sharp dagger, a musical expression filled with charisma and depth.
NIDERNES "Darkness Cenotaph" [LP]
Nidernes returns with its first full-length record. The Portuguese horde casts a distressing misty atmosphere through masterly crafted obscure Black Metal. Hypnotic, somber, a majestic creation.
FORGOTTEN SPELL "The Necromancer" [LP]
"The Necromancer" demo became a milestone in Black Gangrene's history when it came out back in 2017. To celebrate the label's 10th anniversary, Forgotten Spell agreed to a vinyl edition of this amazing work of German Black Metal.
DECREPITUDE "Ave Atque Vale" [LP]
The glorious return of one of the elite entities in the raw Black Metal field. Expect absolute diabolical dread, a descent into the nethermost abyss. Worship the Void!
WILSUMNES "Onwards to the Great Darkness" [Pro tape]
Returning from the shadowy tomb, the group presents a new assembly of ghastly Black Metal, a sinister cauldron of darkness that from its first moments strikes with viciously penetrating riffing, piercing like a sharp dagger, stirring with visceral melody and furious belligerence. Such intensity is properly corresponded by a virulent vocal execution, a poignant performance overflowing with passion and wrath.
NITERIS "Our Death, His Monument" [Pro tape]
The link between Niteris and Black Gangrene Productions goes back to the year 2014 when the label put out the band's first demo “Our Body, His Temple”. Six years later, the Bosnian horde returns with yet another emanation of vicious Black Metal. Visceral and oppressive, “Our Death, His Monument” stands as an assault to the senses through its hostile performance and raw rehearsal like sound. From the first moments of this demo, one finds itself perturbed by the cruel maniacal vocals, the superb guitar work - equally arrangement and sounding wise - and the fast, caustic drumming which is intriguingly interlaced with brilliant slower, utterly suffocating sections, elements that unite on a ghastly deathlike atmosphere likewise well represented by the ominous artwork.
ADVERSO "Descent" [Pro tape]
In the course of four tracks, Adverso drags the listener on a sinister journey through the dark night of the mind, soul and beyond with a ceremonial, utterly somber sound marked by morbid, incredibly dark riffs, ritualistic rhythmic impulses and a ghastly vocal delivery that carries a piercing, almost dangerous component, thus contributing to the overall visceral aura of distress permeating this Descent. Adverso’s sound is austere and poignant, elements which the reverberating sound production elevate to a higher level of torment and disturbance, similarly aided by the superb artwork which adorns this opus.
BORDA'S ROPE / GEHEIMNISVOLL "Split" [LP]
Borda's Rope submits a distinctly lo-fi set of tracks whose austere and sinister guitar riffs enfold this side of the vinyl in a shroud of piercing darkness. The simplicity of such riffs, sideways with the primeval drumming, convey a mood of distress and danger. Topping these elements, the legitimately haunting vocal performance stands out as the essence which takes Borda’s Rope side of this Split to a higher level, sepulchral demented wails stirring genuine suffering.
With Geheimnisvoll, the raw spite permeated by Borda’s Rope is continued yet on a slightly different route. Where the former is nihilistic and minimalist, the latter offers further variation and borders the majestic from the very introductory keyboard lines. Geheimnisvoll is overtly violent and belligerent, especially on the fastest parts where the hatred and scorn are cast more intensively, although melody strikes in as well, a sort of epic feel particularly illustrated in the memorable six-string work.
SULPHURIC NIGHT "Arcane Monoliths of Triumphant Death" [DLP]
It is utterly mesmerizing the way this horde casts absolute and intense darkness with its disturbing arrangements. Compiling material that was originally released in very limited quantities, “Arcane Monoliths of Triumphant Death” is a more than welcoming and comprehensive collection of a vault that goes back to 2013.
MALEVOLUM "Veritas et Violentiam" [LP]
With its second offering, “Veritas et Violentiam”, Malevolum carries on the route set by 2018's “In Absentia Lucis”, nevertheless in a furthermore intense, oppressive way. Undeniably, the four lengthy songs here burst with an impenetrable fog, an almost suffocating aura of dread, penetrating somber Black Metal centering its delivery on outright shadowy negative riffs along with nearly ceremonial vocals, expressive and ritualistic, an obsessive performance which effectively adds to the aforementioned oppressive and cruel aura.