Review: Astrum Malum – Nether Knot

Posted: November 20, 2014 in Demo Review, Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Astrum Malum are a Finnish melting pot of black metal, sludge and neoclassical industrial elements. Their debut release, ‘Nether Knot’ is only eleven minutes lng but contains enough cool ideas to last you much longer.

‘Part I’ opens with gentle synths that build into a harsh, industrial background with raw vocals and a thick, black metal atmosphere. There are eerie, tinkling melodies that lurk amongst the blackened sludge sound; the scathing vocals overlaid onto a buzzing black metal riff. The industrial elements enhance the grimy feeling coming off it, the filth and decaying sound that permeates this EP. ‘Part II’ continues with this idea, ominous chimes looming out through the thick black curtain. The atmosphere is cloying, chokingly dense. The cold, industrialised vocals work well with the harshness of the music, and malevolent spoken word sections only cultivate the uneasiness.

‘Part III’ brings the EP to a close, almost too soon, with a battering, sludge doom assault that is more dragging and ominous than the rest. There is a grace to the heavier, slower riffs that adds to their weight, and when coupled with the more ambient and tribal sections, adds a lot of variety. I’d love to see this string develop a little further, as I think Astrum Malum’s neoclassical bent could add something interesting to a crushing, sludge crawl. If they can create such an atmosphere in a mere three tracks, imagine how special a full length could be! Support here!

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