bd_digipack.inddIt appears this Finnish black metal act has had to add the word true to their name due to some other band called Black Dawn that threatened legal action which is completely retarded. Still Mayhem added true to their name with no ill effects I guess. This is the band’s debut full length and contains some of the most vitriolic blackened filth I’ve heard this year. The formulaic intro piece maybe a cliché but it creates a dread like aura ready for the title track to announce itself via a piercing riff that is followed with a cryophilic detonation of sonic ice shards. Retaining an orthodox black metal approach but still able to sound fresh is not easy but this band sprinkle their songs with various melodic hooks and vocal styles that range from croaking ghoulish groans to larynx scraping shrieks.

Each tune ends with eerie noise as “The Light Goes Out” follows the title track with a blackened assault that the likes Tsujder, 1349, Urgehal and Taake produce and is a match for those established players with ease. I would have preferred the drums to be more prominent in the mix on a personal note as the initial notes of “Cinerous” flow an Arctic wind with the guitar riffs acting as echoes before the expected detonation of drums and barbaric polar vocal emanations. The production has an authentic feel being stripped back, but not to the levels of early Darkthrone depravity admittedly. “Downwards The Serpent Spiral” is a morphing phantom like track as the blasts are solidified against more poignant sombre aspects. I really enjoyed “Strange Shaded Sky” with its creepy introduction of guitar and groaning vocals and almost unnoticed the tune enters a blast phase and threatens to end up in a cataclysmic cacophony only for it to be reined in superbly with a misery torn guitar hook and tormented vocals.

“Eyes Of The Cadaver” has semi acoustic start with a morose melody that eventually submits to a downpour of wintry malice. The tune oozes perniciousness as the guitar work propels the song along a path of iced malevolence with varying pace dynamics enabling the song to exude ferocity and sadness equally and is a stand out track leaving only “Into The Tomb Of Her Mirror” to close the album before an outro piece. The relatively simplistic drum beat is ritualistic and bonded to a Dissection like guitar hook that enables the song to build towards a ferocious assault and apex. There is something about the atmosphere on this album that I really like, it reeks of desolation but also possesses a mind bending morbidity that is hard to pin down but one thing is for sure any black metal fan should investigate this band as I hope that maybe they’ll play the Inferno Festival in Norway next year.

(8.5/10 Martin Harris)