359Obviously my first point of investigative journalism (otherwise known as being plain bloody nosy) here was wondering about the significance of the name of these Finns. 359, isn’t that the time the goose drunk wine, nope just ten out, how annoying. Let’s see if anything catastrophic happened in the year of 359AD? Apart from the Persians and the Romans having a bit of a rumble and some famine in Germany it appears not. Likewise in BC just some strife in Macedonia, nope not getting anywhere fast here so it’s a case of answers on a postcard please. What I can tell you is that 359 play a very raw and rugged form of black metal, have three songs on this EP, promise more in future in form of a full length and have previously ‘Denied Virginity Of Mary’ in 2008. It also seems that Sunken also of Goatsignal is the man behind everything here and that’s it in a nutshell. Best describe the music then.

Just 19 minutes long, we start with ‘To Radiate Your Spirit’ and after strange sinister noises the drums pile up and guitars whip out a grim and feudal melody buzzing away. When the vocals join in an impression is definitely made as they are rough as sandpaper that has been scraped down the larynx and left it bloody and raw. Up in the mix they make a strong impression as the morbid melody infects the spaces between. It’s got a demo quality sort of sound to it, totally suited to things and it gives the music a real authenticity. It’s worth noting it was mixed and mastered by Aleister Zetekh of Saturnian Mist. A grim cackle lifts things slightly and there’s a bit of added depth as the rigid drumming regime diversifies. It’s a little on the one-dimensional side but as the EP moves to ‘Cold Void Spirit’ there’s more of a bouncy groove about things and things don’t strike as quite so rigidly enforced. It’s no less caustic though and blackly thrashes away allowing some real headbanging and neck wrecking action as it drives forward smashing things and using that barking voice as a giant hammer. It also sounds more like Sunken is actually (dare I say) enjoying himself more with this one and it’s an infectious banger with some great whiplashing tumult to it. ‘Ajna Satan Anahata’ sees, as if we had any doubt that he was, this filthy Finn praising the dark side. It’s done in a style much more representative of the second number than the first too, punkishly keeping things fairly simple but allowing the rhythm to energetically throw you all over the shop. There’s a bit of the old Carpathian Forest magic about all this and 359 have got my attention and left me looking forward to further material.

(7/10 Pete Woods)