Posted by Nick Skog on Monday, July 27, 2015 Under: English
From: Toilet Ov Hell
Published: July 27, 2015
Note: This is a record swap. Spear gives an introduction on the release and swaps it with Edward who writes the bulk of this review.
Every now and then, I’ll be going through new releases and come across something that grabs my attention and refuses to let go. Perhaps it was because I didn’t expect much from a split by two self-described blackened doom bands, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed both bands. Nachtterror stays on the faster side of things while Altars of Grief bring the album to a depressive crawl, but both make good use of mixed vocal styles and light symphonic elements. Knowing Edward’s tastes tend to be a little more extreme than mine, I decided to send him this split to get his take on something that might lie more within my sphere than his. – Spear
Judging by the cover on Of Ash and Dying Light, I assumed my assignment would be some strange mash up of black metal and tech death. Nachtterror’s logo looks like that of many black metal bands, while Altars of Grief’s bolder logo looks like bands on the tech spectrum. The art appears to be a scene from nature, but the blues and purples color scheme strays from most of the black metal covers I’ve seen. Are those hooded figures or trees? Is there a man in the front wearing a crown of thorns? After squinting at it for several minutes, I pushed play on the album. Turns out I was only slightly correct about the music. Both bands play in and around doom metal the most – think Woods of Ypres rather than Yob.
Nachtterror open up their half of Of Ash and Dying Light with a prolonged, low growl. What follows on “The Breath of the World, Ablaze” is an amalgamation of several styles of metal – chunky doom, death and symphonic black metal combine into a track which varies wildly. The growls give way to mournful clean singing and melodic guitar playing, then reappear underneath. “The Breathe of the World, Ablaze” gains stream into its finale, which somehow maintains its epic feel while instruments are flung into each other at peak velocity. “Upon Ashen Shores” opens with a simple riff, slow drums, and more clean singing. It’s doomier than the first track, more steady; it builds at a consistent rhythm and adds symphonic elements closer to its finish. Its end follows the pattern set before, fast and dramatic.
Altar of Grief’s presence on here makes a lot of sense. They share many similarities with Nachtterror: clean singing mixed with growls and screams, playing a variety of styles over the course of a single song, and music with an epic and emotional sound. They’re a bit more straightforward; the songs are more cohesive on their half of this split. Altar of Grief can take credit for Of Ash and Dying Light’s heaviest moment too, the opening to “Your Heaven” surprised me when it rumbled out of my speakers.
Spear told me the style of these bands wasn’t what he thought I listened to often, and he was correct. I hadn’t heard of either band beforehand (as per our official rules). Nonetheless, this is a solid showing from both bands involved. The setup on this split works. Two long songs for each band, with almost equal time between them. It’s available on Bandcamp for ‘name your price’.
Reviewed by: Edward
In : English
Tags: altars of grief nachtterror of ash and dying light blackened doom metal doom metal black metal regina doom metal limited edition vinyl