I was never a big fan of Splits. Honestly, I can’t really explain why, but it must be due to an awful past experience ahahah the truth is, in last few years I have put that aside and gave in to this format of showcasing bands new material and whatever. I have started to understand the beauty of having different variations of Black Metal put together and, in the end, sound almost homogeneous… or not. And the “or not” is what makes it interesting for me, actually. The thing that “scared” me, is what now makes me itchy ahaha.
And what do we have here? Nyctophilia, from Poland, starts off the album with a very standard, yet full of powerful and hateful riffs, Black Metal approach. 4 tracks in which the listener is not given one single moment of rest, nor peace. Grief, the mind behind Nyctophilia, puts forth yet another release… and there have been many of them! In terms of sound, it does not stir away from the what the pillars of the genre crafted way back in the (golden) Era. One might say that N’s attitude is much more sonically violent than Hellmoon’s, and in a way it does go hand in hand with the Polish posture in Black Metal: aggression and powerfull attack. On the other hand, Canada’s Hellmoon has a lot more melody in its core.
Both “sides” are superb, I will give them that! I had the chance to spin this release several times since the Main Man sent it to me, and what first sounded like just another Split, it quickly grew on me. I dare say this is on my Best Of the Year List… easy. As I was saying, Hellmoon has this Black Metal sound that takes us into snowy blizzards and bucolic nights by the fireplace – never losing the Black Metal scent – while Nyctophilia’s vision / creation of the genre is Rawer and more Savage. They do complement one another quite well, in my opinion.
Concluding, two artists with different perspectives, dissimilar sounds – in a way – but with a very equal end result: bloody friggin’ superb! (DanielP)