‘Deus Sive Natura’ translates from the Latin meaning ‘God Or Nature’ and is fitting to the 3rd release from the French black metal crew Evohe. ‘Deus Sive Natura is full of melody and splendour and touches on the more atmospheric side of the spectrum. ‘Deus Sive Natura’ is the bands 3rd release, the first with Folter records and a new chapter in the bands existence with the presence of new vocalist Valravn.

‘Different Worlds’ is a melodic doomy affair and encompasses these facets with black metal roots which are portrayed through the more than capable lungs of the aforementioned Valravn. The guitars inject melodious strains throughout and Oldar provides the vertebrae to the release with drum work which never falters on the impressive pace he sets from the outset.

‘Nemesis (Hall Of The Slain)’ exudes a more traditional raw black metal sound and ups the tempo from the start. Abssyd and Furthass on the guitars almost battle each other for supremacy and Oldar is working at breakneck speed throughout. Valravn’s vocals are gravellier and malevolent than on the opener.

‘The Tears Of Forgotten Times’ opens with a storm and the sound of the rain can be heard lashing down, this feeds into ritualistic chanting with thunder breaking behind them before Abssyd and Furthass join the party and Oldar bringing up the rear with concrete and reliable kit work throughout. The pace has slowed a little from ‘Nemesis’ but is still not quite in the doomy realms of ‘Different Worlds’. Valravn comes in fairly late on in the track but still provides the spiteful and dirty vocals to keep the track interesting and not falling by the wayside

‘…Of Ancient Lores’ provides more of a tune with a catchy soul which seems to lifts the spirit before Valravn introduces the grubby accomplished vocals. He is laid over a chanting male vocal which adds to the intensity and atmosphere of the release. Mid song the intensity increases and the whole band seem to step it up a gear and introduce a burst of speed and element.

‘Fylgia’ opens with an acoustic guitar doodle and beautiful male vocal which works stunningly with the six string accompaniment. The piece finishes with satanic whispering and ties in together perfectly. An absolute segment of perfection amidst the anger and brutality of the album

‘Eola Monumenta’ brings back in the electrics and creates more riffs which generate a lighter mood to the proceedings. Valravn comes in with the vocals and works tirelessly with the rest of the French cohort to create a punky and bouncy piece to this black pie.

‘Sleeping With Wolves’ sees the band return to the slower, more methodical essence before it then picks up the pace and turns into a thrashy onslaught. The vocals are then introduced and the tempo turns down a notch to create a catchy riff laden lighter bite. Mid song incorporates a segment of respite by fading in guitar doodles and a marching drum beat laden over guttural and growling vocals. The last 2 minutes of the song then return to the grey and lighter side of the moon with a catchy, foot tapping style of the black world

The acoustic folk strings are introduced again with ‘A Thunder Of Misfortune’ and there is some well positioned vocals to introduce the song before the track is opened up to more of the same blueprint we have been witnessed to in the preceding components. More of the doomy vocals are showcased in this song and they seem to detract from the talents of the guitars and drums and cascades a damp notion to the track. This is a shame as the raw vocals are portrayed with such passion and vigour and work beautifully to create a majestic immoral hymn, that is until they are destroyed with the alternating and completely conflicting style of vocals

The album closes with the gargantuan 17 minute plus track, ‘The Thousand Eyes Of A Lonely Soul’. The band are afforded the luxury of showcasing all their elements which have previously been successfully showcased on this release. The track has the majority of full on ferocious and vindictive guitars; this is intermittently instilled with acoustic guitar doodles, placed with perfection to create an ambience of culture and grandeur. The vocals are inflamed and angry and are spat out with determination and power. As much as you need the staying power to endure this track, it seems fitting to end the release with the variety and mixture this one provokes.

If you are eclectic in your appreciation of a style and are prepared to alternate between the different vocals this album incites, then this may be worthy of your attention. If you don’t like your black metal messing with, whether it’s melodic or full on, then this may not be for you.

My advice, simply approach with caution

(6/10 Phil Pountney)