Naming a raw atmospheric black metal album after a popular brand of hot sauce would probably not be advisable unless you were Immortal so it is for the best that they didn’t. Turns out Sitra Achra describes the inner conflict between morality & base instinct in the Jewish mystical text, the Zohar. You wouldn’t get that level of fact checking in Metal Hammer now would you, my friends! So Barshasketh‘s second album, The No Feeling comes all the way from New Zealand with a brief de-tour through Scotland to pick up a full lineup.
Why do I write reviews at silly hours in the morning when I should be going to my pit to have a danger wank versus the dark closet monsters. Fuck knows. All I can say about this band Negative Plane, is that they are fucking incredible. Take the best bits of Celtic Frost, all the reverb from every 90s Black Metal band & a fuckin’ massive church organ. What’s not to like?
From the outset it is clear that this 2 year old Edinburgh band are not your typical bullet belt clad blasters, as a cursory glance at the CD player shows 3 tracks on clocking in at a weighty 26 minutes. With long songs comes a great responsibility to diversify, as anything featuring 9 minutes of wall to wall trve kvlt biscuit-tin drums recorded on a mobile phone in Gandalf’s corrugated steel garden shed would have me eating my laptop with rage. Luckily for me Haar paint a rich musical picture, using the time to conjour desolate landscapes where raw speed is balanced with doomy, progressive parts that occasionally bring to mind Agalloch’s heavier moments.
Hailing from the world capital of atmospheric black metal that is Colchester, Greg Chivers has gathered himself a very talented group of musicians. Combined with a diverse sack of influences, the end result is a powerful & intelligent, if slightly bipolar debut that owes much to Scandinavian masters without ripping off their trademark styles.
Pinning Cormorant down to a single genre would be about as productive & as easy as stapling a turd to the back of a particularly pissed off badger. However, if you really insist on having something to put in that tantalising “Genre” box in your iTunes, I’d say they play progressive blackened death metal.