Of all the extreme metal genres, black metal is, for me anyway, the only one that carries off the one-man band idea. This US act, under the creative eye of Alp, is exceptionally good and with a slew of EPs and a couple of full lengths that craft continues unabated. This new effort was out during 2016 but has now got a label to push it with an extra song being added compared to the original release.
The EP begins with the song not on the original, called “Lobotomization Portal Ascent”, and any notions that this is going to be an underproduced assault on the senses is obliterated as the song builds up superbly via a semi acoustic and desolate guitar riff. An echo is used with the vocals which works well but is a little overstated on parts of the EP, as the tune quickly imports the drums and bass ready for a brutal extremely catchy riff. The musicianship is excellent, as usually you get one or more aspects that aren’t as well done, but Alp is skilful and each instrument is afforded focus when required as the blast is chaotic and suits the evolving onslaught extremely well.
The sound changes slightly for “Talisman Fire Eye” which was expected as the song is the first from the original release but adheres to a dense and opulent sound instead of favouring a monophonic cacophony of so called true black metal. The song twists via various riffs with the tempo shifts linked to the glacial vocals that exude an iciness and perniciousness to great effect. Tempo switches are done cohesively allowing each stage of the song to stand out but also fit together as “Psychophilic Volts” starts with a harsh bone-brittling riff. The song is disturbing as it explodes into life amid a blur of snare and echo drenched vocals that work better here. There is a menacing aura to this song, palpable to the point of terrifying as the blast beat threatens to career the song into miasmic black oblivion and has some similarities to Svartidaudi and Misþyrming due to the hypnotic and transfixing speed.
Closing the EP is “Deprogrammation Entranceptor” a seven minute plus exploration that is unyielding, horrifying and utterly ruthless. The song blasts into life with no build up, preferring to impale the listener back with a wall of cacophonic violence that is unerring but thoroughly enjoyable. Wrathful intent billows from the tune as it eventually slows for a supremely accessible riff and beat that thunders along giving the vocals more focus which are screeched into the mix to great effect. As the song hurtles towards its finale, that unerring sense of pandemonium becomes more evident as the song generates an ethos of uncontrollable terror.
This EP is utterly petrifying, an inexorable sonic corruption and virulent foray into black metal malevolence.
(8.5/10 Martin Harris)