Earlier this year Pest Productions put out a CD release for ‘幽浮林涧之雾 Become the Soul of Mist’, the brand new album from Chinese Black Metal band 暗泉 Dark Fount. Now here in the UK, a label who specialise in obscure Far Eastern Black Metal, Dark Ambient and Dungeon Synth releases, amongst other things, are also putting this album out on cassette, and oh boy have they found a supreme album to give life to on this side of the world.
From the first bombastic tones of tones of the intro, Dark Found come across as a confident, powerful Black Metal band who deal in the more misanthropic side to human nature, and at the same time dishing out a punishing brand of hyper-aggressive BM with definite Scandinavian influence. If you were expecting a Far eastern flavour to this album then think again, this is old school BM, spewing forth ice cold guitar leads, ravenous vocal work and punishing drum tones very much in the style of Marduk. Where Dark Found differs from Marduk is in the intense sounding melodies that they capture and harness. Take a track such as ‘Become the Soul of Mist’ as a classic example. A song in which Dark Found bring the speed right down and let ferocious, mesmerizing guitar leads do the talking, as well as the vitriolic vocal work of course. Dark Fount are a band who know many ways to produce truly crushing Black Metal, and this track in particular has a frigid steely intensity to its rhythms that really speaks to me.
I love that Dark Found embrace the Scandinavian style of Black Metal, that even in countries like China where information isn’t as easy to come by historically due to strict governmental controls, a group of people can get to hear the very best that the genre has to offer, emulate it and not only that but make it their own. A classic example being ‘The Styx’ whose belligerent unrelenting drumming style, piercing melodic undertones and rampant riffs are as grim and frost bitten as anything coming out of Norway. That said, Dark Fount do have the odd surprise in store and the ambient acoustic interlude track ‘A Boat Rowed Death in the Mist’ comes right out of the blue but contributes yet another layer to this emotional and sombre album.
You’ll be hard pressed to hear a better Black Metal album all year than ‘幽浮林涧之雾 Become the Soul of Mist’, it’s that good! I’ve compared it to Scandinavian Black Metal plenty in this review but this is no rip off album, it stands alone and on its own two feet, mixes influences and includes some parts that are purely and totally Dark Found and nobody else. (Marksson)