Vitriolic, malevolent, demonic and raw are all words which combine to provide us with this long awaited full-length release from these Swedish comrades of the black metal underworld. ‘White Noise And Black Metal’ is expelled onto us from this misanthropic unholy troop, and is widely anticipated as it is their first release since going on a hiatus after their 2011 release ‘Void’
‘The Cosmic Sphere Falls’ opens the proceedings with pounding majestic drums, which sit as brutal backing to enchanting fretwork, and the song then kicks in with a pummelling pace. The vocals from Nox are raw and punishing, and the whole opus is venomous from the start. The track is intricate and catchy and helps to lubricate the tympani’s ready for the following 7 tracks of extreme blackened beauty.
‘Again’ is almost revolutionary in its presentation, and there is a twin avalanche from Joakim and Doe on the guitars, Alex on the bass, and the session drummer, Moilanen, generating the back bone to the guitarists heartbeat. There is a marching beat at the forefront, and this is accompanied perfectly by the growling guttural screams and growls from the frost bitten tyrant Nox.
The release continues in the same vain and is hateful and destructive in its expansion and then a highlight of the album rears its head in the form of ‘Tragedy Of Pointless Games’. There is more melody on show here, and it is audibly springier and bouncier than the rest of the album. Alex and Moilanen are prominent in the forefront, and they help to generate the power and pulse which transcend this beast from constant to extraordinary.
‘Darkness Falls’ showcases the guitarists’ talents, and they work in unison with perfection, with Alex and Moilanen. The track is slightly slower than the rest of the release, and this is coupled together with a slightly doomier feel to the blackened aura. Nox is ever present with his evils growls and screams, and this gives the whole beast a certain arrogance and confidence any black metal stalwart would be proud of.
‘Crimson’ is an instrumental which has been strategically placed to give the listener some respite from the talents of Nox, and it builds from a slow intro to an opulent technical piece, which borders on pure decadence.
They then return to their previous recipe and give us catchy, raspy black metal in the form of ‘YHVH’s Shadow’, this grabs your soul and attempts to detach it directly from your vertebrae, and if you can hold onto your soul long enough you are exposed to ‘White Noise’ which is by far the dirtiest track on the album, it has everything, intricate guitars, technical drums, pure majestic evil vocals and a true lesson in the black arts.
This opus will happily sit amongst its Swedish peers and counterparts, and would not disappoint fans of fellow countrymen Watain, Nifelheim,, Funeral Mist or Naglfar. If you are after some raw, dirty, majestic, evil black metal, then this definitely is your next target,
(8/10 Phil Pountney)