Posts Tagged ‘Purity Through Fire’

This blog started many years ago with a big focus on the Cumbrian black metal scene, as I had recently moved to the area and was enthralled by the bleak beauty of the fells and the bleak music they inspired. Nefarious Dusk’s ‘God is Dead’ single was an early gateway to it, and they are now releasing ‘The Wanderer of the Cold North’, another tribute to this cold northern realm.

The gloomy open to ‘Hodbarrow’ really ramps up the atmosphere immediately before the fiery ‘Millom’, and when the first of the four part ‘Helvellyn’ hits, the first thing you can feel is the improvements in production. A warm feeling of roundedness filters through the crisp, icy riffs and gives everything just a little more potency. The guitar work is still very much classic second wave black metal, scouring through your veins like a howling wind while a savage rasp conjures black magic from cold, dark places. What Nefarious Dusk has now is a much grander scope; despite the necrotic guitar tone and the bleak, wintry assault on the senses, ‘The Wanderer of the Cold North’ has a lot of huge spaces, reminding me of Wolves in the Throne Room.

Nefarious Dusk have really put together what you could describe as the quintessential black metal record for 2019. Holding true to the ancient evils that created this special style, ‘The Wanderer of the Cold North’ also feels fresh and new, with somewhat haunting melancholy seeping through the blizzard. Perfectly capturing the spirit of these old English places, where the land aches with primordial mystery. Superb

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ysbryd jewelcase.jpg

Rising from the potent German black metal underground, Ysbryd keep flames of traditional black metal burning brightly with their debut full length, ‘Kraft’. Originally released last year in a limited cassette run, Purity Through Fire Records were so impressed they’ve given us a wider release, and it is out now.

After the cold opener ‘Diafol’, a gloom-sodden clean guitar melody, ‘Schmach und Schande’ is a miserable, ancient form of primal black metal that would please Bathory and Venom, while still oozing with frigid, black melodies. The haunting calm of ‘Im Kriege’ contrasts wonderfully with the crashing rattle of the blackened riffs cascading from ‘Ritual der Befreiung’, and there is no doubt that the sense of bleakness permeates every element of ‘Kraft’. This is a one man black metal record that isn’t a mere copy and paste black metal effort. The mind bending start to ‘Glanz und Gloria’ shows you how the paradigm can be contorted into new forms.

‘Kraft’ is a record that sticks to the traditional black metal tropes but executes them in a way that incorporates an otherworldly vibe at times and a wistful melancholy at others. A great debut record, and I look forward to see how the Ysbryd sound matures through their next release.

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