Split Album Review :~ Black Altar and Kirkebrann - Deus Inversus

Playing darkened, occult, ritualistic, Satanic and furious black metal without displaying any hints of mercy in the demonic version is always appreciable. Nowadays a lot of excellent black metal albums are releasing. In my opinion, the previous year was remarkable for black metal. Already a lot of good black metal album released on this year and looking forward till the end of this year. In this extreme metal music genre first wave black metal and second-wave black metal bands are full of reverence. The experimentation isn’t the only part of the music that’s carefully measured and blended into the mix. Some moments are triumphantly filled with expansive and engrossing melodies, others upbeat and many are just plain weird.  Polish infernal black metal group Black Altar and Norwegian black metallers Kirkebrann they both have seamlessly adopted a nuanced sound that almost straddles borders with power violence and hardcore at many junctures. Everything on here is pretty damn interesting, yet it’s clear that Black Altar and Kirkebrann values quality over novelty because the dazzling split is never overbearingly experimental. When it comes to notoriety in terms of black metal bands Black Altar and Kirkebrann is usually not the first place that comes to mind to a vast majority of people. While some clueless, fully underground band attempting to sell their flavor of the month band to potential listeners, some bands simply exist and create milestone. "Deus Inversus" a phenomenal addition to the Black metal archive.

A new mammoth orthodox black metal undertaking in the form of a split album "Deus Inversus" released on 30th of June by two of the most important and talented acts in the black metal scene Black Altar and Kirkebrann. "Deus Inversus" consists of 7 tracks and unleashed via Odium Records with 31:28 minutes of shadowy artistry. After so long in existence, they have gathered a wealth of experience and dark talents, which they liberally pour into their music. New Split exploding with righteous resolve, a miasma-inducing maelstrom of classic coldness. Black Altar and Kirkebrann they both have always been a guarantor of occult sound art of a special kind and always succeeding in developing music. They have always executed with the utmost confidence but never with overt creativity that made them truly rise above their black metal compatriots.

When I first heard this Split I was stunned. It was immediate and I was overwhelmed. Black metal coming from a deep, non-physical place. When I listened to this I didn’t feel that instant calling from the frost-covered lands of death which black metal so often provokes. It’s dark but the rest is abstract, it’s open to the interpretation and feeling each one gets from the listen. Aforementioned both bands deliver a distinctly experimental, atmospherically evil form of black metal with a little bit of the atmospheric leanings. Both bands every musician did a fantastic job on this Split in a radiant way. This whole studio effort reflects the grand diversity of sound brought together on this new release. Their signature sounds and disparate styles all combined in one bold, enlightened display of unbound creativity Despite the often fast, furious, cacophonous black metal assaults with a lot of segments of slower tempo too where Black Altar & Kirkebrann combines Frozen guitars output, creepy atmospheric passages, noisy, mid-paced black metal arpeggios with cavernous drum thrashes, devilish riffs and those effective, croaking Vocals. The big kicker here is all the choir voices. Indeed, Black Altar and Kirkebrann both bands could have the soundtrack to where you continually get killed by horrific, strange beasts. Controller throwing is optional so, I warn you before entering this journey.

Well, their latest opus opened by Black Altar with a slow burn of long term fright where Black Altar opts for more straightforward occultism, instead of communicating all fear purely in unbridled aggression. They create a standard cold, tremolo-picked chords, raspy screams and raw drums blast beaten away with a snare that clunks. The guitars are very fast, harsh and distorted yet they never sound like an under-produced wall of worthless noise, managing to play raw traditional black metal riffs with grooves, melody, and aggression. Their whole composition and musical style are impeccable also borrow great.  Black Altar and Kirkebrann’s heavy black metal is uncompromising, recalling the early No Fashion releases through a lens of expressionist fury. This new Split's whole compositions are an extremely filthy and unsettling piece of sinister euphoria and unearthly ambiance. Everything they strove to accomplish with this new album was unequivocally achieved, and the extra dose of heaviness fleshed out by a punishingly passionate performance keeps this first excerpt fresh even after multiple play-through. After a multiple listen this incantation just blew me away with their ethereal abyss, multi-dimensional, the multi-layered, ominous musical style. Vocals from start to end with no glaringly weak moments found anywhere on this hike through the lightless catacombs of Satan's abode. Their every bit as effective in their Satanic devotion. It'll scramble your trusty scythe to cut through it.

 This Split album is filled with a slew of cadence, apocalyptic, ominous, hellish, powerful riffs work. As well bass line up is whopping, intense, strong, rumbling, slithering. Drumming, the percussion line up is bleak, frantic, solid, clattering and powerful. In each track morbidly delicious, macabre, soaring, dark eerie riffs, bass lineups matched in a good manner. The most striking thing you’ll notice about the sound of Black Altar and Kirkebrann is the air of aggression,occult, ritualistic and blasphemous that quite literally drips from the noise they create. This whole materials sound deliver raw emotion and pure energy. “Deus Inversus” endures beauty of black metal and rinse purity of black flame. This Split indulges strong songwriting and brilliant musicianship. vocals occupy the other spot on the podium and even though it isn’t too grating. Vocals decently large voice that does well for their band. Vocals drag on in concordance with the slower parts of the compositions, sometimes recurring to subtle effects that exacerbate the threat in his words that look like they come from the most unbridled facet present in all of us. Vocals howling scream, menacing, immense, deep rasps, a hoarse voice emerged on this Split in a good manner and intertwined perfectly with their anticlimactic, utterly spellbinding, obtuse, bizarrely arrogant, mysterious, fully blistering, aggressive black metal, a distant musical style with lots of evil atmospheric, occult, ritualization accompaniment and embedded perfectly. Overall you will get sinister, gloomy, mysterious ambient from this whole Split. This is another of those monumental releases which have taken me a spell to ponder. I worship this band. They have masterfully trodden the fine line between antiquated grandeur and hollow, cobweb-coated emptiness.

Each song has energy, fluency and draws a savage landscape. Stand out tracks are all of them. Album artwork is macabre, gorgeously hideous, pretty neat, atrocious, grisly. Overall “Deus Inversus" whole split is spectacular, engrossing, significant, rich, spirituality full of evil, Scary shaking of dark vibration. This split sounds so authentic and a truly remarkable sonic journey from beginning to end. The production is impeccable, capable of handling both the massive misanthropic and gargantuan heft.  Indeed this Split is such a true hidden gem of this year. The Polish and Norwegian bruisers still possess all the necessary skills and hard-won experience to put younger, newcomer challengers in their place. Both bands (Black Altar and Kirkebrann) has welded the styles together and has created something greater than the sum of its influences. The black metal production makes the riffs come to the mind in-distinctively but perceptible to the anima, simultaneously becoming a memorable experience though never repetitive. It’s always possible to detect secondary melodies that weren’t there the last time and won’t be there the next. 

My Rating:  

Reviewer: Souvik Basu. Published on 05/07/2020

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