Nagelfar, Wolves in the Throne Room, Darkthrone, Cult of Luna
July 2, 2021
It’s somewhat fitting that this review will be displayed over a black background, as ‘Black’ is the first word that springs to mind at any point during this album. The album is like a warning label in German, written in black letters. On a black sign. Outlined in black. If Hotblack Desiato’s ship from ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ had a CD player, this album would be in heavy rotation.
Despite being almost inaccessibly bleak, brutal, and crushingly heavy, this is a genuinely great album, right from the slow, quied intermissions and introductions, to the full-force, wall-of-noise brutality that will likely melt the faces of the unprepared. It’s a well-structured, musically clever album that seems to find and implement every cliché of contemporary and classic black metal, and somehow not feel at all contrived, and brings new ideas to the table without straying too far from the roots of black metal.
This is an album that feels familiar, and yet often has more to offer than those it takes inspiration from: an impressive feat, given this is band’s first full-length offering since disbanding as Friesenblut in 2018
A truly compelling piece of quality black metal
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