Katepheia – Tsalal I [Russia, Black] (2017)


Self Released | 12-1-17

I have had a problem with a lot of depressive and atmospheric black only in that there is always a lot to choose from. With this comes the dulling of what is suppose to be the linchpin of the music which is emotional resonance. When you can 50 bands doing the same thing all releasing records at the same time, the impact can be muted. This of course is true for most genres of metal but sort of ruins the aesthetic for certain types. This is why it is interesting when an album art can grab your attention and the music can hold it in place.

Tsalal I is the debut demo from this 2 piece project. From the grim looking cover to the despondent riffs which pour like rain, this group nails the aesthetic of DSBM and atmospheric black wand though it surrenders to its tropes, still manages to make an effective record. The emotional resonance, which is important, shines with songs like “IV” as well as the near album’s 8 minute closer.

Though I am not the biggest fan of this style of music, I am a supporter of the production which ranges from ragged to raw. Though rough around every edge, there is a clarity which allows the music and emotional impact to be carried on the tattered wings of ravens or some other carrion eater.