After three full length albums since their 2016 inception, this German duo appear to be taking a breather by only releasing an EP this year. Don’t be fooled though, the three tracks here clock in at nearly 35 minutes.

Thematically, Dauþuz are renowned for steering clear of standard black metal tropes, taking a lyrical preference for misanthropically staring into the physical abyss of mines instead of the standard existential abyss. I kid you not; track titles here translate roughly to “Mineshaft Collapse”, “The Eternal Dungeon” and “One Last Journey”, (excuse my extremely rusty language skills), and the outro sounds like pickaxes chipping away at stone (note: there’s no mention of Tolkien dwarves here, so you can cross that cliché off of the list too).

“Grubenfall 1727” begins with a folk-inspired acoustic strum-along, accompanied by ritualistic singing and whispered voices. This gives way to some full sounding atmospheric black metal riffage, with simple yet effective percussion, changing pace frequently in a manner which engages the listener. Though they are indeed three individual compositions, the songs segue into each other in an almost seamless manner.

This EP also features some of the most unhinged vocals I’ve heard in recent years, veering from strangled shrieks to rasps and yells and everything in between. There are also soaring clean vocals complementing the melodic passages, and despite the wide array of styles, it all fits very well.

A passionate, melodic yet fierce contemporary black metal release, showcasing that Dauþuz are (if you’ll excuse the mining pun) a genuine underground gem to be reckoned with.

(7.5/10 Doogz)