It seems apt on this night of Samhain, All Hallows Eve and the like, to be listening to the kind of black metal that truly sends a shiver down your spine. Originally released back in March, Iron Bonehead are releasing ‘Night of Consecration’ on vinyl at the start of December, and you’d better grab a copy because, like the river that bears the band’s name, this is boiling and bloodstained.
After a misleadingly soft piano intro, the suffocating death rattle of ‘Black Depths Beyond the Gate’ utters forth from the fetid underworld in a dense, dark maelstorm of evil. But as dark as it is, there are dashes of light atmospherics, like a more necro Wolves in the Throne Room but shorter, more abrupt. There’s definitely an element of that showing through in ‘An Ancient Spell’ too, and while the influence of rawer bands is also prevalent, this direction is unexpected and definitely interesting.
‘The Earth Blackened by Infernal Curse’ is a harsher black metal assault, while the powerful ‘Red Robe Order’ is a dissonant piece of Blut Aus Nord-esque fury. ‘Night of Consecration’ is not what you expect when you first spy the album cover. You’re waiting on this brutal necro blackened thrash, but a much more sophiscated beast comes oozing from your speakers. Twisting black metal into dark and impenetrable shapes, all while an atmospheric rage builds within.
Pyriphlegethon are a difficult beast to pin down, and ‘Night of Consecration’ mixes a very necro feel with a mournful, atmospheric form of black metal. There are plenty of harsh, raging sections but a lot of introspective parts too. Melody is not a dirty word to these guys, and while it’ll never be chart stuff, or even mainstream metal, this is an excellently crafted album that rewards repeated listens with nuance and grace.