One man projects in the Metal world may not be uncommon but they have always intrigued me. The sense of isolation from an individual, the thought that only a single solitary person has the willingness, desire and drive to create resonates in me as a form of nigh on poetic outsider exploration. A means of artistic expression that in a methodical manner showcases the dedication found by select individuals in the musical world.

One such artist who began their project in a singular context is multi-instrumentalist Joseph Deegan who’s time with the band Myrkr prompted him to explore his own solo vision through Slidhr who would later go on with a full live line up and encompass collaborators on forthcoming releases. Slidhr’s success in the underground has been rife and this anticipated sophomore full length The Futile Fires Of Man has finally arrived to quench our thirst.

Does it deliver the goods though? Absolutely the punchy, nasty almost visceral Black Metal tones of this epic tome are full of the dark fires of Hell. With little room for let up each five minute plus opus passes by in a rage that seems erratic and grisly, from the verging on Death Metal tinged vocals to the galloping, thrashing drums each segment is a cataclysmic display of miserably, emotive and down right bestial forged Black Metal.

Each track blends so well into the next making this a full album experience, admittedly there are stand out point such as A Scattered Offering and Rise To The Dying but overall this is a journey of cathartic terror that draws the listener into a world of Black Metal that retains a trve nature but allows its claws to whisk in non-believers in a fashion befitting to the likes of Watain and other such fringing underground artists.

I fully admire Slidhr’s work on this glorious release a truly awe inspiring Black Metal record that keeps giving even through its masterfully destructive moments. The noisy mayhem at points reminds me in a strange way of a Black Metal Portal, relentless and unforgiving yet equally technically and musically engaging, if you need to know what Black Metal is all about in 2018 then Slidhr have you covered.

(8/10 George Caley)