The Sarcophagus - Towards The Eternal Chaos
Osmose Productions
Black Metal
10 songs (49:38)
Release year: 2009
Osmose Productions
Reviewed by Goat

Hands up who has heard of these guys? Hailing from Turkey and featuring two members of Raven Woods, this Black Metal band have been around for years, forming in 1996 and staying beneath the radar - until now, hopefully. The band recruited infamous Shining vocalist Niklas "Kvarforth" Olsson for debut full-length Towards The Eternal Chaos, and the results are impressive. One epic intro later, the band waste little time in going straight for your throat with heavy, blasting Blackness. Drums are physical and at the top of the mix, a persistent rumble beneath the epic-tinged guitars, whilst Kvarforth's manic shouts are straight from the old school - although the band are easy to headbang to, there's a real atmospheric punch to their sound, shown by the piano tinkles towards the peak of Legend Sleeps Behind The Mountains. Interestingly, the drums seem to shift between programmed and organic, bass pounding often overtaking the cymbal work to dominate - but never at the music's cost, and to be honest it doesn't matter whether they are or not, since the music is too good to care. Hymn To Awakening, for example, sounds like a milder Anaal Nathrakh backed by a distant orchestra, the grandiosity perfect in its subtlety, whilst Age Of Demons begins with disgusting munching and roaring before shooting into action, speeding madly for a moment before descending into catchy groove.

Fans of Kvarforth will be ecstatic at this, the man gives his all, yet it's hard not to be also impressed by his bandmates, making the likes of The Sarcophagus a ripping, killer song without losing even the slightest atmospheric pounding, and switching immediately on the following track A Funeral Opus to acoustic strums. Anatolian Dragons swoops and soars, at once infectiously catchy and breathtakingly grandiose, a Folksy bit of lead guitar adding that extra little punch to impress even more. I'm still reeling at the expert Under The Lunar Eclipse, the glorious pulverisation of Nothingness Emptiness Chaos, the Emperor-like glory of the album as a whole. Without a doubt, this makes a fine companion piece to the last Shining release, yet it's sure to appeal to more than Kvarforth fans, since the Black Metal itself is so good, at once vicious and glorious, a fine invocation to worlds beyond that will have you headbanging even as the skies fall. It's a shame that Osmose only provided the promotional copy of this that I reviewed now, as it would have been sure to get a mention in the year-end list were I to have it sooner to its release date of November 2009. Still, no harm done - it's a pleasure to be able to tell you now how good this is - nothing particularly original or stupefying, but enjoyable Black Metal that all should appreciate.

Killing Songs :
Legend Sleeps Behind The Mountains, Hymn To Awakening, Age Of Demons, The Sarcophagus, Anatolian Dragons
Goat quoted 83 / 100
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