Death Vanish / Misanthropos – Split

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Label: Eternal Death

There’s a lot of black metal out there. It’s a statement so obvious it barely needs saying, but the amount of music being released under what was originally the most inward-looking and hostile of extreme metal sub-genres is, frankly, absurd. And a lot of it is absolute, utter shit, too. It can be depressing, going through hordes of new releases and demos in the hopes of finding something worth your time. But sometimes, you’ll strike gold, and come upon something that makes it all worthwhile. The new split between Death Vanish and Misanthropos is one such example. Put bluntly, this is incredible, and should be mandatory listening for anyone interested in black metal in 2017.

Death Vanish take the first side. A new solo project linked with USBM greats One Master, Death Vanish’s take on black metal is both furious and direct, whilst also vaguely psychedelic. Shades of Von and Profatatica are present throughout, but Death Vanish’s sound is more damaged, more wrong than either of those bands – and given the already twisted nature of their work, that’s quite something. The three tracks charge forward with immense power, and there is no regard for the listener’s comfort or well-being. This is black metal as it was originally intended – hostile, blasphemous, and more than anything, dangerous.

Misanthropos are another sole act, this time linked with Morgirion. The black metal that present is more melodic, but still possessed of considerable fury and hate – comparisons to the likes of Horna are apt, albeit with a slight DSBM. This is especially apparent on Misanthropos’ first track ‘Incessant Vexation’, which sounds dramatic and vast in a manner commonly associated with nature-based atmospheric black metal, but without all the excess that usually implies. Even then, it still manages to possess hypnotic qualities, as on closing track ‘Tyrannic Blood’. It is black metal shorn of all superfluous elements, shaped in to a direct, lethal weapon that is deeply impressive and hard to resist.

I’ve often spoken of my deep respect and admiration for the music Eternal Death release, and this split further consolidates in my mind the label’s status as one of the most reliable and consistently impressive bastions of underground black metal in modern times. They may not flood the scene with releases, which in a sense makes the achievements of the label all the more impressive – you can trust that anything bearing the Eternal Death logo is of quality. It would be a genuine shame for this split to be lost amongst all the noise of the vast numbers of mediocre black metal releases, as this is something rather special.

Split is due for release on 1st September 2017, and can be pre-ordered digitally and on cassette via Bandcamp.

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