Yhdarl’s claim to fame is their ability to crush “all music boundaries between suicidal, depressive, doom, noise and drone black metal”. With a link to Cult of Erinyes and a host of other bands, “Loss” is the Franco-Belgian duo’s eighth full album release.

Violence, agony and torture flow through “Ignite-Ashes”, the first of the three long pieces on this album. The insane screams and anarchic darkness have an air of Anorexia Nervosa about them. There are twists and turns but there is little or no deviation for the first ten minutes. Then creaking doors and doomy weights hanging over our head add momentary interest before the noisy assault restarts. “Despise – Pity” is more like it. Its drawn out, prolonged agony is more atmospheric than the more superficial “Ignite – Ashes”. The raw violence is there but this creeps under the skin and incites decay. It was while listening to this track that I realised that when Yhdarl draw out the soundscape, they are far more effective in my ears than when they are assaulting us. There is a particularly haunting section about eleven minutes into this twenty minute monster. On the other hand the depressive section about fifteen minutes in just sounds out of tune. Whilst I appreciated “Despise – Pity” more than “Ignite – Ashes”, I still struggled to get into it. “Sources – Nihil” starts out from the swamp and continues in doomy vein. Now here was the highlight for me. Dark and dirty clouds swirl and build up. Yhdarl manage to create something, which is imperious and imposing, majestic even.

“Sources – Nihil” saved the day for me. Its gloom and power capture an irresistible force and structure, which I didn’t always feel. To this point “Loss” had seemed to me to be thrashing around too much for ideas, and finding a safe haven too much in raw violence. But this is not a bad album at all. There are high points, and for sure the quality of “Loss” is its undeniably constant intensity.

(6/10 Andrew Doherty)