Siculicidium - Land Beyond the Forest
Sun & Moon Records
Black Metal
7 songs (29' 48")
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Andy

Ethnic Hungarian black metallers Siculicidium (the name's a reference to a massacre by the Hapsburg army) returns with an EP containing a generous helping of material and a mix of sound styles that mix early black metal with punk. It's plain, unadorned fare for the most part that does the job, but they still mix in some folk-inspired highlights that soften their sound and make it more complex.

Complexity isn't really what I looked for in Land Beyond the Forest, but it's a surprisingly deep record. The title track's guitars sullenly bend under nasally growled lyrics, with the overall sound reminiscent of early Inquisition. At the midpoint of the song, however, the instruments take over with a delicacy that belies all the slow-grinding riffs of earlier, which makes all the unadorned bashing of Return to the Solar Temple and Asylum Retrograde a good counterpoint to it. Even they, however, have a depth, with a strong sense of melody and a very nice descending bassline on Return to the Solar Temple.

The last three songs consist of covers -- a couple of black metal bands, and one of Swans' New Mind, all of which are done competently, though New Mind seems a lot scarier coming from the original artist than from Siculicidium, which can't quite get the same level of anger and violence into the song. For all the interest in black metal purism -- and Siculicidium can certainly write an angry, lo-fi tune --, this is an album that has neofolk leanings to go with its more obvious punk sensibilities, and Siculicidium uses them well here.

Bandcamp: https://siculicidium.bandcamp.com/.

Killing Songs :
Return to the Solar Temple
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