Malokarpatan - Cesta potzemnymi salami Kovolada
Sun & Moon Records
Black Metal
2 songs (10' 31")
Release year: 2018
Reviewed by Andy

Slovakian black metallers Malokarpatan have been known for their unorthodoxy and their willingness to incorporate non-BM elements, along with a great sense of atmosphere. Cesta potzemnymi salami Kovolada (Journey Through the Subterranean Halls of Kovlada), though billed as an EP, really only contains a single track that could count as a song; the first is mostly ambient. A cold keyboard dirge plays a in the first minute or two, with groanings, music-box tinklings, electronic background wails, and clattering bells all fading in and out to a subterranean dripping. This sets the stage for the main act.

When it comes, the main track is full of atmosphere too, but with much more purpose than the instrumental. The guitars chug steadily under the roughly echoing voice of Temnohor, beginning with a warm synth on the intro, but developing to a high choir vocal counterpoint ending with a guitar lead as cold as the initial keyboard melody. Delivered in the band's native Slovak, the lyrics sound both mysterious and ritualistic to the uninitiated listener; translated, they match well with the dreary downward pace of the song, slowing before a fast descent into the abyss in the last minute of the track. Malokarpatan's interest in Slovak folklore and their dark devotion to atmosphere here makes this EP interesting, but the shortness of it is likely to put off all but hard-core fans.

Killing Songs :
Cesta potzemnymi salami Kovolada II
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