Or to give this it’s native title Истина – Откровение Неизвестности. Well I had a case of deja-vu when this turned up from Russia and did not have a clue what I had in front of me but on playing the CD I realised that I had reviewed this bands 1st album Познание тьмой ‘Cognition By Darkness’ back in 2014. To be fair they have provided translations for everything this time around including English text for the song titles, I was just being dense and had not worked out the script font they had used on the packaging. For the sake of things I shall revert to English now for the rest of the review. The band’s name means “truth” and that is something I was determined to get to on exploring this incredibly shadowy work by the duo who are M & N. It took mere minutes on playing this to recognise them as and let’s get the elephant out of the room stylistically this is very reminiscent of the works of Xasthur. The good thing is that it is probably better than anything Malefic put out since Telepathic For The Deceased and as he is apparently playing bluegrass under that particular moniker now you could indeed say screw him!

If you are not a fan of that particular style of blackness, well you probably won’t like this, especially as you are in for a very long haul with the 12 tracks sprawling to a 70 minute running time. Luckily I really soaked this up and found it quite comfortable to listen to, the extended running time not outstaying its welcome and I certainly haven’t got bored with this in the slightest. Starting “At the peak of madness” skewed melody comes in heavily followed by blood curdling throaty shrieks and an instantly hefty tone. Violent drumming bombs in and the pace is hectic at times, tempo changing fluidly to a fugue like solemn state. This is music for wandering along a path in a graveyard listening to but I wouldn’t recommend that at all, you never know what is going to creep out the vampiric fog and take a bite out of you. There’s a real sense of ghastly horror about things although melody is expertly handled and funereal and eldritch tones permeate. The ‘Decayed Threads’ unravel and there is an arcane vibe about the keyboards that remind of mid period Killing Joke when the band were at their most mystical and arcane, especially on striking and contemplative songs like ‘Solitude’. Gloomy passages and indeed a couple of mid album instrumental tracks give you a break from the tortured screams and ramp up the atmosphere. It’s a depressive listen make no mistake although tempered by sudden bursts of aggression and thumping drum salvos.

At times this is completely mesmerising and at others terrifying, it is real horror music, macabre and downright creepy as darkness is explored and fragile states of mind contemplated. We get a sense from track titles translated as ‘Shining Of Darkness’ and ‘Losing Control’ are concerned but the mystery of the vocals no matter what language they are expressed in are always going to be cryptic and left to work with the listener’s imagination. This is a work rich in baroque flavours and it has an almost literary sense of finesse harking back to the discovery of ghouls and monsters lurking in the shadows about it. Pick up something classic from Bram Stoker, Edgar Alan Poe or Mary Shelly and soak up the stygian flavours here. This deserves an extra mark from the already accomplished debut due to the fact that this is such a well-rounded work that has totally absorbed me on repeated listens. The fact that I was sent one of apparently 300 discs makes me feel quite privileged and this is a work I am going to treasure. Listen to a full stream via the Bandcamp link below but be prepared to be taken to a place where tenebrosity reigns supreme.

(8.5/10 Pete Woods)