‘Conjuring the Red Death Eclipse’ was our first taste of Norway’s Nachash brandishing a filtered blackened assault that remains true in the original spirit the band was conceived and that’s continued on this first full length album. The tempo is a touch more moderated here compared to the EP material but the expansion of expression really sets the bar high. ‘Apex Illuminous’ may be filthy and nasty, but it doesn’t stop the band slowing down and becoming a darker proposition. I’ve found this of a similar stance to the transition witnessed by Bathory during the ‘Hammerheart’ era and beyond. Ok, maybe an easy one to compare and the most hardened fans are going to be critical, but that’s how I see it, a similar feeling for this listener.

‘Astral Sacrifice’ coincidently gets blacker as the track draws to a close with the drumming tempo increased for a short period, still bestowed by a deathly harrowing vocal rasp. This provides the majority of the ambience for me. The music underneath obviously has an influence, but this vocal encapsulates me as the listener as I fall deeper into the void of gloomy blackened nastiness. ‘Fleshtemple Incineration’ continues with a more Viking metal approach, in guitar rhythm terms, awesome in its own right, with a feel for much Primordial material but with that vocal providing the difference factor. ‘Vortex Spectre’, well this one drifts you in and out of consciousness; experience these tunes in dark quarters, the atmosphere you gain is magical.

Many have tried and failed, I am pleased to hear an underground act retaining their bleak mantle after signing with a larger record label for their debut album. The darkness remains, the songs have grown and the artist retains the character in the spirit and execution of some of the music styles greatest contributors.

Recommended for fans of Mid-Bathory, Early-Reveal (Swe) and Primordial

(8/10 Paul Maddison)