Teitanblood isn’t a band that I knew about before listening to this, but having looked them up, I can see that they have been in existence for more than 15 years, have released three albums, some EPs and splits including one with Necros Christos who I do know. That told me to expect some pretty dark fare.

My suspicions were right as we are taken into an underworld of gloom. This is black metal of the darkest variety, with the sounds of Hell to go with it. Yawning screams and merciless instrumentals scatter themselves across the blackened landscape. At one point I felt the industrial world of Blut aus Nord, but then Anaal Nathrakh come to mind, but then it’s just blackened chaos. Vocals amount to filthy roars as the guitar goes wild and represents blazing devastation and catastrophe. The key word here has to be horror. The album continues in the same vein, with crushing deathly sounds swirling around and stopping occasionally, only to start up again. The fire is out of control as instrumental carnage and chaos sweep across the already devastated landscape. Finally there is respite with two short pieces called “Insight” and “Of the Mad Men” which while more tranquil, have clearly originated from the same sinister outerworldly underground swamp as the rest of it. The title track starts in similar vein before spreading its menace and upholding the theme of horror in a sweeping metal storm. The message is clear but it’s not that interesting to be honest. From this the album returns to the roaring, anarchic intensity of “Sunken Stars” and the similar “Verdict of the Dead”. The ambience is that of the first five tracks. The bells ring and the album then finally disappears into the gloomy atmosphere.

The heaviness and intensity of “The Baneful Choir” cannot be denied, and whilst it is consistent in its pulverising blackened atmosphere, as a creative piece it is self-limiting, I found.

(6/10 Andrew Doherty)