Review from Black Phoenix Rising

Posted by Nick Skog on Sunday, December 29, 2013 Under: Album Reviews
From: Black Phoenix Rising Forums
Published: December 23, 2013 

What's quite clear with Hypnotic Dirge Records is they don't particularly care for genre conventions so long as the music's good. Iranian one man project Ekove Efrits is no exception, a band that may be rooted in black metal but has branches reaching way beyond. On "Nowhere" trip hop, electronic and ambient music all blend in with black metal and while this is very much towards the atmospheric end of the black metal spectrum it's an album that brings many different elements to the table and creates something that's very unique and much greater than the sum of its parts.

Most of the music on "Nowhere" is performed by Saman N, but in addition to this we see female vocals provided by Megan Tassaker of gothic doom band Lycanthia. She has an outstanding voice, with an ethereal quality that adds greatly to the atmosphere conjured throughout this album and acts as a great counterbalance to the harsh vocals used elsewhere. In fact this is very much an album of contrasts, on many of the songs such as "Public Theatre" and "One Truth, One Confession" the music ebbs and flows between atmospheric ambient sections and harsher, more aggressive parts where Ekove Efrits' black metal roots show through, the intensity gradually building up to an explosive climax. "Parallel Presence" is a beautiful track, atmospheric to begin with, with trip hop beats backing up Megan's vocals. Distorted guitars gradually creep in towards the later parts of the song, creating a slightly darker mood and moving back to metal territory with harsh vocals returning, musically still retaining the atmosphere and melodic aspect though. There's a few purely instrumental tracks on the album, "Metamorphosis" being one such track which conjures an extremely creepy and sinister vibe and the use of samples from The Shining accentuates this. Another highlight would be "Sword And Wound", starting off deceptively tranquil before sinking its teeth in with some of the more aggressive music we see on this album, shifting seamlessly back and forth as the song progresses. 

Despite the strength of the individual tracks though the album is clearly best considered as a complete entity, taking the listener on a journey through light and shadows and many different moods and textures, and in this capacity it is an excellent piece of work and art. It clearly shows that Saman is one hell of a creative musician, he's able to use many different elements to extremely good effect and create something incredibly unique that stands on its own in a general musical climate that has become stale and repetitive in many places. The thing with black metal, which became apparent as soon as I got into it is that there's scope to do a hell of a lot with this music, and in the hands of bands such as Ekove Efrits we see just what can be done. If this takes them beyond the boundaries of black metal and metal music as a whole so be it. Like so many bands of this nature genre is irrelevant, it's just straight music first and foremost, using whatever elements are appropriate to create the desired result. Fans of experimental black metal will likely want to feast themselves on this one, as well as fans of atmospheric metal in general, it's a damn fine album by yet another unique act from HDR's roster.

Rating: 8.5/10
Reviewed by: Demonian

In : Album Reviews 

Tags: "ekove efrits" "nowhere" "persian black metal" "iranian black metal""atmospheric black metal" 


  Released: December 7, 2013
500 Copies
Ambient Black Metal