Brief Reports From March 2022

            Time is fleeting as we’ve already crossed into the second quarter of 2022, and with the continued farce of our existence comes a concise dose of distinguished releases that actualized during March. Powers from various black sorceries and entities are seized on this collection while typifying the ferocity and majesty of their arts, and they traverse the cosmos, ancient civilizations, and other epic realms with the full force of those qualities. Influences from classic rock and metal also appear, which further broadens the dark vitality contained within, and of course, this only represents a small sample of the greatness unleashed last month.

DROWNING THE LIGHT     World Devourer

            Australia’s eminent count has returned with the conclusive chapter of an ancient Egyptian saga, and primeval energies are harnessed in hymns to fortify its immortal essence. World Devourer follows the course from Tenth Region of the Night and A Gleam in the Eye of Set with an evocative ambient opening, which includes a storm among its elements before the drum pulse emerges, and it escalates to blast beats with the onset of raw melancholy. This is raised continually by tremolo melodies alongside the menacing roar from heavier layers, with their formidable effect occasionally taking precedence over the tremolos through certain enhancing rhythms, and those grooves or mid-paces also highlight various melodic details that arise. Fierce vampiric screams soar across the arrangements while a distinct possession is invoked for moments of narrational emphasis, and they often occur during the instrumental passages appearing throughout. Some areas of blasting intensity are matched by the sinister influence of organ keys, and others reveal a majesty dwelling amongst the gloom. Both creative and destructive forces are effectual on this fusion of Egyptian lore with DROWNING THE LIGHT’s signature spirit, and a dark order is conjured amid the chaos that deserves focused exploration.

CAILLEACH CALLING     Dreams of Fragmentation

            A new galactic trip is underway in the US, and its debut personifies the goddess of the band’s name through a cold storm raging within a raw mass of riffing. This forms the void where ambience and melodic shapes realize a detailed cosmic setting, and they orbit around its expanse with arpeggiations and noted emphasis to reflect an imposing blackness. An ethereal flow and psychedelia emanate from dynamic synths to drive the appeal of this aural universe, and moments of heightened intoxication are achieved when they combine with clean-stringed melodies and leads. A meditative calm is also induced at certain points, one being especially pronounced during the first segment of “Cascading Waves,” and its effect is deepened by clean sung, whispered, and spoken sections. These vocal varieties deviate from the tortured screams reflecting a prevalent atmospheric oppression, and this is further carried in the persistence of blast beats, which fluctuate to include rapid pummeling and grooves that reveal other intricate designs. The arrangements culminate to end the voyage on a grand scale, and its overall favor toward progression with primal intensity captures a magnificence paralleling the dark infinity.

PERSECUTORY     Summoning the Lawless Legions

            This order of blackened death from Turkey has conjured its second full act of infernal wrath, and many darkened shades lurk within its fierce orchestrations. The malevolence is instant, with a grim opening melody weaved throughout the heaviness of a sinister groove, and its impact expands when a hammered pulse takes hold in the emerging tremolo melodies. Frantic and evocative impressions are inspired as they pursue intricate courses over the progressions, where dismal tones also emanate from rhythmic tremolo and chord structures, and these match the intensity of blast beats alongside other quickened paces. Slower passages are integrated to balance the ferocity with desolation, and detailed percussive patterns are often highlighted within this aura while it rises through malignant arpeggiations. The eeriness is compounded when disembodied qualities appear, and the haunting from other backing cleans is noted amid the prevailing vocal wretchedness. Warped and spacey tremolo extensions drive the rapture from soloing, which merges with numerous striking moments captured throughout, and the potent manifestations on Summoning the Lawless Legions confirm that PERSECUTORY are adept at their craft.

SUMERIAN TOMBS     Self-Titled

            An ancient civilization is revived by this new German embodiment, and a fitting atmosphere is captured here with vampiric influences to further immortalize its spirit. A shadowy aura surrounds the orchestrations as riffs impose their brooding presence, and dissonance arises with other raw and dismal tremolo tones to form a mass of sinister developments. The murkiness from a distant past is evoked while heightening gloom through various melodic encounters, where the essence of those times is conveyed using clean instrumental elements during certain passages, and the enchantment of noted patterns extends to detailed tremolo courses pursued throughout. Rhythms accentuate the impact of these arrangements, with blasting tempos to enforce the immensity and slower areas highlighting catchy formulas or conjuring malevolent arpeggiated shapes. Profound interactions occur when intricate and heavy layers evolve with ambient features, and they glimpse back into forgotten eras with ominous and ritualistic qualities that offer new life to the ruins. This first full expedition by SUMERIAN TOMBS offers a firm nod to black metal’s second wave alongside their own spellbinding forces, and it inspires a lasting allure toward the mysteries of Sumer.

ABBATH    Dread Reaver

            One of the most renowned figures in Norwegian black metal is back with a third full-length offering, and it shows the continued advancement of ABBATH’s lone identity following his departure from IMMORTAL. The familiar icy spirit of those glory days remains prominent, with blast-beaten extremity matching the frostbite of riffs, and dissonance from accented strikes and tremolo melodies are woven into their swelling currents as the cold traverses various rocking beats. These rhythms conjure a sinister riffing tone on tracks like “The Deep Unbound,” and double bass coincides with arpeggiated notes that lead down to heavy string contortions on “Septentrion.” The vocals exhibit Abbath’s signature style, but a sung technique is often joined to the harshness, along with gruff areas that produce distinct MOTORHEAD vibes when rock features transpire. A classic metal presence is strongly noted within this attack, which occasionally breaks for lead and percussive emphasis, and that essence is further conveyed through other mighty progressions. Its influence is pursued definitively with a cover of METALLICA’s “Trapped Under Ice,” and the energy is driven into epic realms by solos manifesting throughout. Their magnitude is amplified when combined with proper ambient effects, and “Scarred Core” demonstrates this impact with the cavernous howls proceeding alongside its solo. Acoustic interludes and atmospheric enhancements assist in seizing a varied and vital blackness, and its power crafts a highly enjoyable listen without concern for overly serious imagery.

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