So now we have this split with Finnish black metallers Azaghal and Oath, both having worked with IFP on previous releases. Azaghal is first out of the starting blocks, full-speed, with three lengthy tracks of typical Finnish raw black metal. Think Vordr, Horna, Satanic Warmaster.. With a healthy dose of Darkthrone thrown in for good measure. The result is exactly what you’d expect, and exactly what you’d want. Dirty, raw, full speed blasting, buzzing riffs, guttural shrieks all doused in a suitably necro production. It is quite simply, old school second-wave black metal done well, like it should. No more but certainly no less.
Oath take a slightly different approach, their sound more epic (man I hate that word) and atmospheric, although they as well stick to the older style of black metal. At times the murky production and buzzing guitars take an almost ambient-like quality, a bit like the atmosphere Darkspace manages to achieve. Although I have to say Oath is much, much rawer. And while we’re namedropping for reference’s sake, a band like Emperor isn’t far away sound-wise as well.
Sometimes, bands use a split release as an excuse for tracks that were left over, or that didn’t make it to a full album. That certainly isn’t the case here because both acts provide excellent material. And the great thing about this split is that it gives black metallers a perfect introduction to two fine Finnish acts, while at the same providing their existing fans with some new quality material. And bonus points for the nice artwork!
It’s getting a bit predictable, but yet again, an essential IFP release for everyone who holds ‘90s black metal close to their heart. Their dirty, necro, infested-by-satanic-feelings heart..