fromthevastlandI was impressed with From the Vastland’s 2013 album “Kamarikan”, since then there’s been one further release prior to this one. What impressed me was the intensity of the black metal which this one man maelstrom from Iran generated. The gentleman in question has moved to Norway, and has a select supporting live cast, featuring members who are associated with Keep of Kalessin, Myrkskog, 1349 and Gorgoroth amongst others.

The gnarly venomous Norwegian black metal style, which characterised “Kamarikan”, is here again on “Chamrosh”. You’ll have heard the style before but it’s the intensity and honest hatred, which again are very strong. First we’re treated to around 6 minutes of fire and brimstone with “Wizarsh”. Fast and growly, its marching rhythm is matched by the hissing venom. It keeps coming back for more, a feature of this unrelenting, tortured and violent work. “The Malkusan Witch” comes at us from a different angle with its more funereal progression, and its whistling winds. It is utterly murderous. While mostly violent and aggressive, the fire is assuaged with majesty on each of “Kresaspa and Seven Daevas”, “Saurva, Demon of Hunger” and “Mardazma”, the final track of the album which brings this fiery feast to a magnificent climax. In there also are quiet and deadly passages with sombre guitar, faintly Eastern interludes and on the title track and “I and My Serpents”, deadly spoken sections.

Yes, the style is familiar and could be linked to any number of modern Norwegian black metal bands, but what makes this album noteworthy is the intensity, the intrigue and the many faces of blackness that it presents in a powerful way.

(7/10 Andrew Doherty)