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Mánþiel / Wampyric Rites – Ensomhet (Shattered Memories From A Distant Past) [Split]

mánþiel / wampyric rites – ensomhet (shattered memories from a distant past) [split]


With ‘Ensomhet (Shattered Memories From A Distant Past)’ the admired Lithuanian Black Metal label Inferna Profundus Productions present two of South-American’s most prolific and revered Black Metal acts on one piece of vinyl. Both Mánþiel and Wampyric Rites have firmly cemented their names into the underground Raw Black Metal scene, not only locally, but also increasingly on the international level.

Mánþiel opens with their three-song set of rather standard but really superbly executed Black Metal. Though the band never put out anything that is really bad, it wasn’t until their latest album, ‘Vestiges Engraved in Frozen Mysticism History’ from early this year and also through Inferna Profundus Productions, that they kind of shrug off their all too standard character. Previous recordings had this croaking raspy vocals that resembles Inquisition to a large extent, which, whilst sounding quite authentic, came at the expense of originality and, frankly, it also grew to a certain level of annoyance. On their latest album the vocals got a less prominent role, pushing it quite deep into its sound, allowing it to get to a more dense, coherent and above all genuine sound and ambiance. I am not quite sure where and how these three songs on this split LP were recorded, but they do seem a bit of a bunch of leftovers from various sessions. All three have a distinctly different connotation and feel to it, with especially the second one, ‘Die Rabenfestung’, sounding rawer than the other two. While the croaking Inquisition-like vocals do pop up here as well, they feel as if they are just slightly less prominent again. In the end, Mánþiel’s contribution to this split LP (which was doomed to happen at some point) are worthy of checking out and regardless of when and where these songs were recorded, it definitely shows a band on the rise.

On the flipside of the record we do find Wampyric Rites, one of the most active bands in the South American Black Metal scene, stoically and dedicatedly building their status of underground Black Metal stalwarts. Though only founded in 2019, the band already delivered an astonishing output and, more importantly, of considerable quality. Wampyric Rites have made the underground Raw Black Metal aesthetics to their very own and added quite a bit of an own identity to their music. Mainly that is due to the addition of excitingly sounding Ambient/Dungeon Synth elements, that is also how their contribution to this split LP starts before bursting into some of their more primitive sounding tracks. Their music is ever so build upon the cornerstones of Norse Black Metal, in essence, it’s all pretty standard: uptempo (no blast beats, though), sharp guitar sound and icy screams. Yet the Ecuadorians manage to forge it into palatable and not necessarily overly typical Norwegian Black Metal. On this split LP, however, it seems the band’s main concern has been to show how diversely skilled they are. Where the intro and outro consist of Dungeon Synth and the first ‘real’ song mainly showcases that uptempo standard Black Metal, the third is mainly slow and compelling, mainly due to the constant repetition of a riff/theme, creating a certain depressive sound. This way it kind of lacks coherence and it is not quite their best material to date, yet, I am sure that might only be of a minor detail to the band’s followers because musically they do deliver what is to be expected from them.

Inferna Profundus Records

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