EcferusWhilst most black metal musicians seem focused on the extinction of mankind this US one man outfit are all about evolutionary anthropology and prehistory. Helmed by Alp we head off to the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras for a supercontinent forming album. You may well think with themes like this that we are up for a primitive caveman battering from beginning to end but nope that’s not the modus operandi here and this is actually a quite civilised affair musically. Still it’s not one without a fair amount of violence you can’t go creating things without a certain amount of turmoil as the colourful cover art of the album clearly illustrates.

First ‘Light Dawns’ via a classical piano refrain and some jagged instrumentation before the short instrumental opener makes way for the very ‘Creation Of A Planet.’ It’s quickly evident that strong riffing and a melodic thrust are important here and as the drums batter away in the background the guitar work unravels richly and has focus of attention. Vocals come in and are rasping gravely in the substrata as tectonic plates shift and solid land mass is formed. Flowing like molten magma its heady and sulphurous stuff and quite easy to get into as things literally evolve. There’s a doomy growling part at the midway point here before the flamenco etched guitar work weaves around again with atmosphere building into a lurching and avant-garde frame. It’s not an album to go dropping other band-names to and is pretty unique stuff. There’s a deathly bombast and plenty of time and things to concentrate on as this ten minute track epically builds literally from the ground up. A frantic guitar dervish flails around as we move to ‘Fragmented Body’ Although you can’t work them out as they retch in the backdrop the lyrics prove illuminating when found, a quick snippet being “The brain is chiseled from stone tools Hallucinations befell you On plants of wisdom sacred caverns are reached I paint what I see with blood of hunted.” Mankind has arrived and musically things are pretty turbulent to go with things. I guess a quest for fire and the invention of basic tools is order of the day. And lo the light is no doubt discovered via ‘The Human Transition’ a heavy synthesized score that sounds not a million miles from John Carpenter’s soundtracks with growly spoken words around it.

Thematically everything starts to fall apart with ‘Reciprocity Of Disrepair’ Lyrically the message for mankind is bleak “Other animals abided by the laws of Earth But humans created their own and expected Earth to abide.” Alp is evidently much more intelligent than his subject matter though with some progressive noodling flowing through his ever chopping and changing instrumental work just to keep us on our toes. I think I have suitably summed up the essence of this without taking us to the end of this particular era of Ecferus and mankind. It’s been an interesting journey and one I got more involved in as I combined both music and lyrics together. Who knows, if he were still knocking around this could have even had Darwin getting into black metal; stranger things have happened.

(7/10 Pete Woods)