Saturday, December 8, 2012

White Medal/Slaegt - Split [2012]

In recent months, I had the opportunity to be familiarized with Denmark's very own one-man northern howl, Slaegt, whom delivered a personal mini-favorite of mine with their demo. The demo was a concise emblem of the rustling beauty and grandeur of the frigid northern winds in all its atmospheric triumvirate, and depicting the gelid ambiance and spectral gloom of winter in a near-perfect convocation with raw black metal splendor, thus, I was left hungry and desirous by my brief stay in the northern asylum that Asrok conjured, and I was also promised a split offering more primal pulchritude. Now, the prophecy has been fulfilled. Teaming up with yet another fresh face from the somewhat emergent pack black metal devotees, White Medal, winter itself is evocatively released.

Unfortunately, the brevity of the split forms a blockade that prevents me from adorning the two tracks with utter praise and accolades from the start. However, ignoring that, the split is quite enlightening. Slaegt somehow refined their sound by tidying up the hazy, dissonant splashes of messiness into a more precise whole, and there's admittedly more vivacity encompassing their style. Woven complexities are, for the most part, put aside and are replaced more vivid progressions and there's a great, pacy consistency to the riffs that I can't deny, in spite of their simplicity. Though, while certain structural differences appear to be prominent, the entire formula hasn't really deviated from Asrok's previous motifs: there's a piercing surge of consistent, straightforward black metal excursions, and imagery emboldened upon the listener's consciousness maintains a somnolent balance between the horrendous glacial appeal of mountainous entanglement and a surrealistic approach that which provokes a frosty glory in the listener's fiery heart.

I won't be able to judge White Medal's styling as I judged Slaegt as I had no previous acquaintance with the group, though peering into the anatomy of the music, George Proctor's aesthetic considerations are pretty similar to their countrymen in releasing storming, uproarious maelstroms of winter cold, but there's a sense of multiple possibilities here. For one, White Medal has a lot more surprises crammed into their seven minutes than Slaegt has in roughly the same measure. There's quite a bit of raw black metal coiling going on as subtext of the more massive, explosive rancor of the vocals and the much messier ooze of the production, so the instruments all work as entirely different components; the vocals are completely nasty and haunting in their crazed howling succession, the riffs flip from formation to formation during the incursion, and the drums are absolutely thunderous in anchoring the deep onset of discordance. The two have their differences as well as their stylistic similarities; both are going to to tow different masses of audience onto their chilling anger, so if you're an old school black metal enthusiast, you're more than welcome into this chilling abyss. Choose you path; shall it be a languorous blade of icy affection, or a frenzied assault from the deepest, coldest, most cavernous corners of the Moria mines?

Lysets Dod
Them That Fear t'Wolf 

Rating: 81%