With seven unnamed, only numbered tracks, Barshasketh, active since 2009, it is certainly one of New Zealand’s pearls of the genre. Although at first you can think that Ophidian Henosis doesn’t have anything new to present to its audience – and you may be right about that, at least, to a certain degree – they are simply outstanding on the conventional grounds of Black Metal. They practice a very common, raw form of Black Metal, but nevertheless, these guys manage to outbreak a highly impressive, solid and authentically absolute form of BM. With heavy, stentorian, aggressive and furious guitars, they never practice a tiresome or generic display of Black Metal. With somber, pronounced and darkly sharp vocals, that matches obscure and malevolent atmospheres of evil and despondency, you may think that this record cannot present you anything daring or innovative, but these guys somehow managed to transform, rearrange, corrode, deform and deviate the old and usual components of Black Metal, turning all elements of the genre into a creatively intuitive, purely degrading and darkly illusive corporeal malevolent sound, that really can be described as old school-related, without being boring, repetitive, exhaustive or generic.
Certainly, the very fast rhythms and the exceedingly hostile guitar lines give the album a remarkable reliability on the grounds of aggressiveness, nerves and confidence. While they easily assimilate their influences, and show them in very subtle grounds, they can agglutinate in the layers of their own proficiency the same vibrating amount of forces that reunites and expands their energy, to concentrate all of their power into the insane intensity of the definitive explosion that they rapidly accumulate at the deep-hearted invisible force of their music.
Barshasketh – mostly – can certainly be described as another outfit that practices the same old style of Black Metal, without presenting to its audience any innovation. Nevertheless, we can qualify their work as an awesome, outstanding and excellent outfit of old school influenced bands. Without offending the intelligence of its audience, correctly assimilating all the right aspects of BM, greatly respecting all the demands of the genre, and filtrating the most propitious elements of the style, Barshasketh manages to be an impressively authentic band, that, unlike a lot of their contemporaries, will never be pleased – and can never be qualified – on being just another copy of the great references of Black Metal.
You may be not impressed at all by Barshasketh’s Ophidian Henosis at first, but you should definitely give these guys a chance. They really deserve. You certainly will get impressed with this record, and once you listen to it, you will definitely understand what I am trying to say. A remarkable old school conventional Black Metal album, that masterly inserts an authorial line of work in their metal agenda, Barshasketh really do an impressive and serious work on this record, that should be regarded by what they really achieve: if they haven’t scored high on the grounds of originality, nevertheless, an impressively superior, competent, firm and convict line of work is present here, working to perpetuate, align and exhibit the most serious, obscure, malevolent and definitive alliance of sordid Black Metal ever. So, hail to them!