Setherial - Endtime Divine
Regain Records
Raw Black Metal
9 songs (43'34")
Release year: 2003
Setherial, Regain Records
Reviewed by Alex

Undecipherable cryptic logo, five corpse painted dudes named Wrathyr, Mysteriis, Kraath, Choronzon and Zathanel staring at me from the back of the booklet. First guess is the correct one – we have unadulterated Swedish black metal. In the case of Setherial what you see is what you get – raw, ravishing and brutal product.

The band has actually been around for 10 years or so, splitting and reuniting on and off, and Endtime Divine is their fifth release. Being earlier on Napalm Records label the band released three full-length albums and a collection of demo tapes and studio sessions.

Endtime Divine is one big monument of Scandinavian black metal, the way it was done before keyboards and symphonics crept in. The voice is one yelping shriek; the music is a guitar driven wall of sound. At the same time, Setherial, along with their countrymates and spiritual brothers Naglfar, can start giving lessons on how to create grim atmosphere without resorting to electronics. This is done masterfully. Not a touch of ivory tinkling, not a single keyboard overdub – such is Endtime Divine. Yet, atmosphere of utter creepiness and hellish defiance is obvious and comes at a listener with every chord.

The technicality of playing is enormous, the tempo is incessant as all nine tracks just roar at you with drums blasting away. Drum sound is especially good, a trademark of the Abyss Studio and producer Tommy Tagtgren. As much as it is fast, the drumming is punchy and does not blend into one unfathomable noise.

The promo sheet says that the album is conservative in its sense of being faithful to the Setherial roots. The guys are not kidding. I would even say that it is overconservative for an extreme metal album. This leads to few songs being memorable. I did feel that the album started to run together towards the end which made me lose a little interest. Songs positioned towards the end have more “melody”, if you can call it that, with the buzzy lead guitar inserting those melodic shreds.

The fans of fast and raw Marduk albums, Dark Funeral, Bewitched and Sacramentum should really like Setherial. While nothing new, it follows the true and classic formula. I personally prefer the above mentioned Naglfar where guitar driven intensity does not stand in the way of more melodic riffs, flow, and, as a result, memorability. Endtime Divine is, no doubt, a solid, intense and black to the bone effort, but not entirely my cup of tea.

Killing Songs :
The Night of All Nights, Transformation, Storms
Alex quoted 69 / 100
Other albums by Setherial that we have reviewed:
Setherial - Ekpyrosis reviewed by Steve and quoted 86 / 100
Setherial - Death Triumphant reviewed by Alex and quoted 60 / 100
2 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!