Review: Bathyum – Rituals of the Damned

Posted: March 25, 2016 in Reviews
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Rituals of the Damned cover art

Bathyum are a one man black metal act from the UK, and their debut record ‘Rituals of the Damned’ is a black slab of classic, Satanic black metal that does nothing particularly new, but they do it so well you’d never care!

Opener ‘Transcending Beyond the Realms of Humanity’ is a vicious concoction of Immortal-like blizzards of icy riffs and bleak atmosphere, a hymn to northern darkness and the glory of the night sky. ‘Into the Black Sea of Trees’ has more of that gloomy, oppressive atmosphere. There’s an intense traditionalism to what Bathyum are doing here, but it is coupled with an acknowledgement of the quality of proper, atmospheric black metal. Therefore, a seepage of atmospherics into their second wave worship creates a very enjoyable listen.

There’s plenty of savagery around this record, from the frozen hatred of ‘Satanic Sodomy’ to the glacial blasphemies of ‘Godless Warrior’. Bathyum manage to stick to a winning formula while tinkering ever so slightly with melodies and background atmosphere. A pervasive gloom doesn’t stop ‘Rituals of the Damned’ from playing tribute to the likes of Gorgoroth with their focused and intense assault. What I do like about Bathyum is their insistence of not just blasting through this record at full speed, and also their full sound, benefitting from a good production and an audible bass.

‘Rituals of the Damned’ is a quality record that you would be mistaken to miss out on. A varied take on traditional black metal, with excellent songwriting and strong individual songs, as well as an overall quality. Definitely recommended as a new hidden gem in British black metal.


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