Review: Black Altar / Beastcraft “Winds Ov Decay” / “Occult Ceremonial Rites”

Review: Black Altar / Beastcraft “Winds Ov Decay” / “Occult Ceremonial Rites”

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Black Altar / Beastcraft “Winds Ov Decay” / “Occult Ceremonial Rites”
Odium records

Here we have a split of Polish (based in London since some time) and Norwegian bands. The second one doesn’t exist anymore since four years. By the way, calling this creature “band” was abuse because there was only one member during whole ten years of existence, even if there were periods when some musicians joined him to play alive. But they joined only for that and then left project. Contrary to that in BLACK ALTAR there played (and since 2008 play) other musicians except Shadow.

Anyhow, let’s leave my doubts if BEASTCRAFT could be called a band (in my opinion it always was just a project) and see the release stuff of such already long time dead creature. Let’s talk about music itself instead. As the most, or even all of you supposed just after reading names and titles we have with Black Metal here to do. But there’re some easy to notice differences between Polish and Norwegian.

Polish play much technically, first of all. Structure of the songs tells that these guys (I supposed Shadow first of all) think during process of music’s creation and is even sophisticated. Riffs aren’t maybe very complicated, but variable and change quite often. I can feel in them, at least part of them, influences of other sub-genres of Metal – they’re rather subtle. The same thing I can say about drumming. I mean, this is massive and so on, but also variable and with some shadows of “unblack” art. There’re not only huge using of cymbals and numerous passages, but also tempo changes as well. Vocal isn’t any squawk, but something between growling and scream. This is typical Black Metal vocalization in my opinion, but not what superstitiously it is about, if you know what I mean. Oh, the very last song on BLACK ALTAR‘s part can be surprising. But that’s proof of creativity, I guess.

Norwegian presents, the same like Polish band, by the way, six songs. Music is raw and quite primitive. I don’t say that songs are the same and so on. There’re some differences in tempo sometimes. But both guitar and drums play mostly the same. Sorath Northgrove doesn’t repeat one and the same riff whole the time, but also change them rather rarely and these changes aren’t huge. It takes the drums also. Beating is quite monotonous with very few passages. Tempo is also mostly slow-middle and speed-ups practically don’t happen. Instead we have some more lively songs where tempo is faster almost all the time. Add a typical squawk to this there it is.

Personally I prefer BLACK ALTAR and this is not because these guys are from my country! I just like this kind of Black Metal where musicians show that there’s a space for technique, creativity and stuff like that in this kind of music. Well, this band was always like that, so check out their previous releases. I have nothing against music of Norwegian, but this is not my cup of beer what doesn’t mean that anybody should like this. I know that there’re fans of such music and I respect that.

(BEASTCRAFT doesn’t exist anymore, but there’re two bands where Sorath plays)

93/100 & 76/100

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