What I know about the Greek BM scene wouldn’t fill a fleas codpiece, so whether or not Kult Of Taurus’ 2nd full-length album ‘Adversarial Paths: The Sinister Essence’, is a true representation of the “Hellenic” black metal sound is hard to judge. What is evident however, is it certainly eschews the cold and spindly aspects in favour of a more death-like, riff orientated approach. I detect also, a certain Behexen influence to the music and it’s presentation, as it forgoes the more gimmicky aspects of the genre, to weave a more studious and Luciferian path.
The proceedings start ominously enough, with the tolling of bells and the sound of either a crucifixion in progress, or someone building a shed. This intro is followed by ‘Black Embrace’, with its death metal riffs, and vocals that have a touch of the Max Cavalera about them. Unfortunately things are marred by a less than crisp production that highlights a few clumsy transitions, and it seems apparent that within this track there are at least 3 or 4 other songs trying to get out. (A lyric that stands out here, is the rasping of “one direction”, but disappointingly it isn’t prefixed with either “die” or “kill”!!!)
Things fair better with the urgent riffing of ‘Edafio I’, and here, some atmospheric keyboards are thrown into the mix, as in ‘The Piercing Conjunctions of the Sinister’. This is where the album starts to impress, with a looser and more esoteric feel, but once again the production quality lets it down, with ‘Cordially Baneful’ and ‘Through Lunar Wombs’ unable to reach their full potential.
The title of track 7 may sound like a sexy version of a daytime soap opera, but ‘Vibrating Crossroads’ is actually a highlight of the album, with its fail-safe refrain of “Hail Chaos!”. Whereas ‘Arch of Exceedance’ presents us with a more anguished delivery, both musically and vocally. The “execution” style drums and layered chanting prove very effective, and at last the production seems to serve the song well. But even here, the track seems a tad overlong.
However, ‘Adversarial Paths: The Sinister Essence’ is not without merit. It plods away quite respectfully. But for the most part, it sadly proves unconvincing.
(5.5/10 Stuart Carroll)