Not even 3 weeks later after his debut full length, Norway’s Praefuro (or Peregrinus as he’s known in this particular project) unleashed a second full length album from Unholy Craft. More of the Raw Black Metal heard like the first, but with more emphasis on the ‘raw’ aspect, fans are going to get a short, but blistering album that again is more of a shy away from the usual Atmospheric Black Metal that this artist is known to do with his other projects.
The last album was more of the early Darkthrone style, and while that is present here in tracks like ‘As The Full Moon Shines’ which features the full swagger and groove styling of ‘To Walk In Infernal Fields’ by Darkthrone, it is definitely evident that Peregrinus is going for a harder, harsher route. His vocals especially sound more tortured and raw in delivery throughout the album, such as on ‘A Ravenous Flight’ which echoes and wails like a Xasthur album, but with a much faster pace and less distortion, although there are some slower, more melancholic passages where the vocal work is especially powerful. Then there are the more speed raw tracks that border Watain with a bit of groove when it comes to the title track, sharp razor riffs and all with a wolf’s grim intensity. Thankfully with production despite the rawness everything seems level and not too fuzzed out or pushed back when it comes to drums, vocals, and guitars battling things out.
Like a lot of faster and raw Black Metal work, unfortunately the bass and drums to tend to get lost a bit in the mix. However, there are rare moments such as on ‘As Darkness Sweeps the Heavens’ where the cling of cymbals, the slower militaristic drum patterns, and just a moment of quiet where the outro trots it way out where it just sounds different and somber in its own cold way. ‘A Blaze of Tridents’ does have many icy moments when it comes to the riff styling, but this one part just delivers with a haunting refrain that even the more depressive riffs and vocal passages such as on ‘A Gleam of Fire & the Blade’ can’t quite measure up to. It should be noted that Unholy Craft do not have any instrumentals on this album; even the brief ‘Satanic Voices’ just whips by with Black Metal ferocity.
While this lack of breathing room or atmosphere might turn off some listeners, it should be noted that Peregrnius is trying to unleash his more evil 90s Black Metal side here with no restraint and all the hellfire a older 1349 album could muster. This kind of album is for those who like their Black Metal uncompromising and furious, but with just the right levels of melody and sound that don’t make the album too painful to listen to. It does go by quick clocking under 30 minutes, but it still a harsh, grim ride that is rooted in the older Norwegian Black Metal spirit and style.