I know what you’re thinking as you read the band’s name and have decided whether to read this review or not but you’d be completely wrong to assume that this German band is a thrash act with a penchant for Slayer. Indeed this German outfit plays old school black metal like it used to be as this is their second album after a decade long hiatus.
As the demonic intro piece, “Invoke The Shapeless Ones”, terminates “Dawning Of A Dying Soul” launches at you with a piercing riff that drills squarely into your cranium with an accompanying blast beat. The sound is excellent possessing a desolate rawness one used to hear two decades plus ago as the ghoulish vocals are tinged with a slight clean spoken edge that add texture and theatre to the bands onslaught. “Black Hole” momentarily slows things down with a double kick focused barrage and another savage riff that briefly lulls for torturous vocal lamentations. The song is rife with intensity yet coupled to a glacial catchiness that leaves the listener embalmed in a wintry shroud. Surprisingly and admirably the album is loaded with fine lead breaks that yearn of old school tremolo screeching as the immense and epic “Metamorphose With The Universe” assails you with its rancorous nihilism. The retro riffing bonanza holds no limitations as those vocals embellish layers of drama where the tone variations make the song inherently atmospheric. The speed of this song is relentless until the slide into a wondrous melodic poise as a lingering phantom like guitar hook materialises.
I love how the title track starts with a simple drum beat that allows the guitar riff to furrow in with outright fervour. The songs much slower delivery is creepily effective adding a dimension of horror to the album as “Domus Mortuorum” successfully continues the terrorising aura with a slower sequence before unleashing a demented cacophonic charge where the bleak melody dissipates for a drum fill sequence that produces a colossal increase in power. The use of slower phases is something this band does exceptionally well as a fantastic riff starts “Wolfhour”, that will send goose bumps down your spine. As the song develops double bass is injected along with those immense textured vocals I’ve waffled about. As the song evolves instead of opting for a blast the song delves into more uncanny eeriness before stepping up the intensity and the inevitable blast beat which is maniacal as the album closes with an outro, “Into Nothingness”, with its backing noises conjuring up images of your favourite horror movie.
All those whose black heart craves for black metal like it used to be should look no further and delve into the obsidian insanity perpetuated by Germany’s Reign In Blood.
(8.5/10 Martin Harris)