Nachtgnawer’s ‘Eternal Curse of the Blood’ still stands as one of my favorite demos of last year. Taking a familiar Finnish formula of earlier Satanic Warmaster but by adding a twist of their own sense of creativity and deviating structures, the band struck just about the right raw Black Metal chord. Returning with an 18 minute EP, the band’s second release is a collaboration with the ambient artist Wulfseer. A collaboration, because songs of both entities are intertwined and alternating, together combining into ‘Unholy Vampyric Supremacy’.
Since the acts work together on this release it’s rather more fitting to see it as a flowing album rather than the work of two separate artists. To this musical unity, Wulfseer contributes ambient intros and interludes that are filled with tribal percussion. The opening ‘Catching the Inner Self Through Demonized Veil’ also has frantic violins that immediately remind me of classic Vampire movies and serve as a platform for Nachtgnawer’s ‘Ouroboros – Diaboli’ to unfold a dose of lethal Finnish darkness. As one of the more atonal tracks, the melodies are still catchy, and once again have a flair of creativity in the songwriting decisions that make the riffs feel fresh. In particular the end of the track with short pulses of blasting drums shows a band that thinks differently and more creatively. The flow of the EP continues with ‘Pariah, Your Soul’, where Wulfseer opts for a skincrawling tone with somewhat off-key melancholic violins, moaning women and a gypsy like tune that leads into ‘Sword & Chalice’. This is a song that shows the more grooving and rocking side of Nachtgnawer, with a few riffs that once again feel unexpected and almost too melodic, yet make total sense, somehow. While ‘No Role to perform’ is admittedly a little bit less eventful, Nachtgnawer strikes for a last time with ‘Black Spears of Misanthropy’, a more straightforward track in the vein of Horna and Satanic Warmaster with atypical rhythms, adventurous bass and catchy melodies. Wulfseer then ends the shamanistic experience with ‘Banshee Scream!’, evoking a more hopeless wandering feeling that once more ties in with classic Horror movies.
Alternating the Ambient horror soundscape of Wulfseer with the piercing raw Black Metal of Nachtgnawer elevates the atmosphere on ‘Unholy Vampyric Supremacy’ to a more ritualistic experience in the mood of old vampire movies, although you can argue Nachtgnawer hardly needed the elevation. They once again show they’re an excellent band that holds their roots tight to their heart but gives it their own artistic flair, an admirable quality that not nearly every band can claim to possess.