The Lithuanian label Inferna Profundus Records apparently is increasingly becoming the home for South American Raw Black Metal. With loads of releases mainly from the ever fertile Chilean scene, the label is the go to place when you are looking for Raw Black Metal with all the right aesthetics. This split LP between Chilean Old Castles and the Chilean/Ecuadorian collaboration of Winterstorm is one of the latest additions to the label’s stunning roster.
Old Castles starts the split off on side A and serves us with two new tracks and an intro and outro. The band’s first full-length album, ‘Sacrophagical Lament Of The Past’, released after a considerable slew of demos, wasn’t too impressive. The fairly standard riffs and the lack of real depth and atmosphere caused very little excitement. Though the music presented within these two tracks aren’t much of a different take of the Black Metal genre, compared to the material on the debut album, it comes out a little better. The Raw Black Metal riffs are completely stripped off all frills and the minimalistic approach and the Lo-Fi production add to the overall feeling of authenticity. Still it sounds fairly standard and maybe even over simplified, but it definitely has a bit more to offer this time around without being able to really point out what it is. Maybe it is just the total playing time which is obviously much shorter on this split LP contribution.
On the flipside there’s Winterstorm. An extremely Raw Black Metal band that thrives on its muffled and Lo-Fi sound. The repetitiveness and slow pace are making for a hypnotic experience that is pushed into further depths by the use of some haunting keyboards. Those Dungeon Synth interludes are definitely adding something to the mid to late 90’s ambiance of the Winterstorm contribution to this split LP. And, with that slightly more versatile character of the music, Winterstorm has my preference over Old Castles. The way Winterstorm throws in such bareboned riffs, great shrieky vocals and blend them into a genuine 90’s basement production is just excellent.