Asagraum are a two piece Black Metal outfit based in the Netherlands. T.Kolsvart blasts from behind the kit whilst Obscura handles low end, guitars and vocals, whilst live they are joined by Mortifero or Makhasanah. This is the band’s first full length release which is available on KVLT records (sniggers). I had a quick look at the labels website and as well as much brutal blackness in the shape of Asagraum and Beherit they sell smut. Proper find in a hedge Euro porn. In a world of internet naughtiness KVLT are keeping it real in every sense!
Right away from a debate on porn and its role in the decline of Western civilisation what about this album. “Potestas Magicum Diaboli” is rampaging Satanic Black Metal. Proper cloak and flaming torch in Helvete stuff. From the opening drums of “Transformation” it is evident that these two know what feeling they want to evoke from the listener. Both members have been in various bands before Asagraum formed in 2015 and there is a great maturity in both the playing and the atmospheres that are created. Trish thumps the tubs with ferocity and passion adding rolls and fills that sit menacingly over the riffs. Obscura rasps with power sounding like all of Hell has her back. “Black Triangle Temple” melds stark brutality with some tender melodies that accentuate the blackness with flashes of light. There is plenty to headbang to as well as twist one’s hand into a claw.
“Leviathan” has a sound as big as the mythical creature. The blasts and sonic attack are toned down for a more rolling atmospheric piece offering some calm before the brutality hits in waves . Some delicious passages in here that remind me of Thorns and Beherit. Strong praise indeed. “Gospel of Ignition” has real groove, something that is often left on the cutting room floor in Black Metal but something that in my ears, adds further depth and gets those hips shaking as well as the neck. This is a track that needs to be blasted out of a huge P.A. It reminds of the black ‘n’ roll of Slegest.
“Daar Waar Ik Sterf” follows and has Trish pummelling the fuck out of her kit. Just relentless chaos!
“Black Sun Prayer” appeared on Youtube 4 months ago and has garnered 14K views. On listening to it in the context of the album you can see why. The brutal pandemonium is infectious, rolling and undulating before being brought to an abrupt halt and “Carried by Lucifer’s Wings” takes over. This is another rocker adding a bit of Abigail and Sabbat (Jp) into the mix. Real foot up on the monitor stuff!
The album closer had to be a strong one and “I burn within the Devil” is certainly that. Mixing blistering pace with early Bathory feels gets my vote every time. Obscura sound suitably demonic as if her transformation alluding to in the opening track is now complete.
This is a very strong debut and hopefully will pave the way for a long and illustrious, blasphemous career.
(8/10 Matt Mason)