KosmokratorWe’ll go into the ‘not to be confused withs’ at a later point. But, just to be clear, this is the bestial black metal band from Belgium – and a new band with a demo that’s been doing the rounds for a year or so and now getting a well-deserved, fully fledged release from Ván records. Kosmokrator’s thundering vision of black and death metal is down-tuned guitar bliss. Wrapping in both blistering speed and spaced-out moments of reverberating death metal that does its level best to suck you whole into the bass bins. The opener of this three track, Ad Alta, Ad Astra, is a warping vortex of guitar harmonies spliced with sledgehammer riffs and messed-up vocals. The worst thing I can say about it is that it’s only 12 minutes long. It feels like a fraction of that.

But the driving second track Adoration Of He Who Is Upon The Blackest Of Thrones comes in and picks up the pace and the intensity with a rocking riff that’s as much black mammoth stoner doom as it is black or death metal. But it works perfectly as five-piece set about finding new notes at the bottom of the base scale that you barely even knew existed as they tear up the track and what’s left of your poor speakers. In fact, it’s actually only an interlude for the final track which bookends the album’s 29 minutes and provides the final tumbling descent into the world of Kosmokrator (or KSMKRTR if you prefer, as the name appears on the album cover). Teasing in a bit more black metal this time to flesh out the band’s range of bowel-evacuating sounds, the final track Sermon of the Seven Suns lets rip hopefully so you don’t have to.

Shit like this absolutely shouldn’t work but it does. To The Svmmit borders on ‘noise’ with its shifting organic chaos. It’s dark, it’s ‘orrible and the average human ear would bleed the instant the first oscillating, shambling vibrations of terrible swirling noise landed upon them. The final eerie, acoustic guitar strumming comes too little too late for the acoustically sensitive. I suspect these guys mean business based on this and the few other fragments I’ve heard about them. As promised: not to be confused with the nekkro black metal mentalists of a very similar name from Kentucky – with the slightly different spelling Kosmokrater – or the Scottish melodic death metal band Kosmokrator. To The Svmmit is bad-acid occult metal madness of the first order. I would happily have this album at twice the length so I had to make do with listening to it twice instead. I know – the hardship I suffer. In short, this is excellent stuff. And it’s from Belgium. Go figure that one out.

(9/10 Reverend Darkstanley)