The duo that comprises this Polish outfit are established members within the country’s extreme metal scene. Adam Sierżęga, aka A, and Konrad Ramotowski, aka Destroyer, have done their service in the underground via acts such as Azarath, Armagedon for the former and Kriegmaschine and Hate for the latter. One thing that strikes you about this EP is the arrangements which are fully centred on a prolific and proficient drum display. Added to that is the array of vocal styles manifested by Destroyer creating a theatrical approach that is similar to their compatriots Batushka though not as a grandiose.

The EP hits off with “Messer” demonstrating a quirky riff style that is cloaked in an oppressive drum sound that makes the song unearthly and frenetic. The sudden switch in pace is excellent and allows an eerie beguiling riff to filter in alongside clean vocals that have a pagan like quality due to their elongated enunciated lyrics. The effect is one of a ghoulish, phantom like aura that continues into “Twilight” as the opening sequence is slow, purposeful with a doom-death like structure. A funereal like pace gives a feeling of heading towards a huge increase in tempo, which occurs but without blasting as the desolate riffing has a slight delay, not quite an echo making the track sound expansive but equally tuneful. The atmosphere on the song and the EP overall, is haunting, embittered by the rancorous yet melancholy vocals which again take on many forms that fans of Czech Republican band Root will appreciate.

That quirky riffing reappears for “Radiant Divinity” and it is this side of the band that sits the release aside from the majority of contemporary black metal. Preferring to maintain a slower place the percussive expertise of A is exceptional, his fills and cymbal emphases are excellent accentuating each track with sonic nuances that enable the song to live and breathe with each vocal line. There is a really abrupt riff change that catches you out but it is quickly absorbed into the fabric of the song as a cool lead break ensues. The EP ends with the eight plus minutes of “Inner Shrine” which begins mournfully as a semi acoustic piece which feels ominous, especially when an isolated guitar riff floats in. The song smoothly focuses that riff allowing the eerie clean vocals to penetrate the track in their own inimitable style. The pace is unhurried as the track is built around a plethora of drumming that sees the density increase due to the double bass which has a stifling asphyxiating sound that I really liked as it has the semblances of gruelling death-doom. The clean vocals are excellent on this track, passionate and dripping with emotion the tonal despondency is palpable especially when a very distant croak like style is added to them. Causally and smoothly the song returns to the semi-acoustic style which is accompanied by a lead break that is utterly heart wrenching before it is obliterated by a return to the songs main riff. That poignancy in the vocals is amplified by the music which oozes despair and anguish with every note as the song methodically ends with a spacey effect that fades into oblivion.

This a wonderful emotional black metal release, crammed with ideas and overflowing with musicality that makes each of the four compositions brim with an obsidian charm that avant-garde black metallers will adore.

(8.5/10 Martin Harris)