Wednesday, May 16, 2018

AETRANOK - Kingdoms of the Black Sepulcher review

AETRANOK - Kingdoms of the Black Sepulcher

Symbol Of Domination Productions

The overwhelming majority of new black metal releases that come in for review to SFM666 are either by bands who perform traditional sounding raw BM or atmospheric BM. Out of all the black metal sub-genres (and there are many) those two seem to be most popular. One genre that over a decade ago was prominent is symphonic black metal. Now for obvious reasons it took a nosedive in popularity. But in the past couple of years I've been hearing new bands bring back the sounds o that sub genre without any o the trappings of it's past.

AETRANOK is a five piece black metal act hailing from Aztec, New Mexico. That's a small town located in the northwest corner of the state. The area is also called the high desert and no it's not a frostbitten kingdom but cold and somewhat desolate, yeah. Although looking at the song titles there's no reference to their whereabouts. Musically you would think otherwise.

Kingdoms of the Black Sepulcher is this band's second full length. Now when I suggest symphonic black metal I'm referring to their use of keyboards. Fortunately they're not used in a way that a decade ago I would've called cliche. They're not used as a standout. Instead they're placed perfectly in the mix. This leaves the soundscape as a whole to be furious and fierce as well as allowing some melody to seep through.

The major highlights on this seven song blast are the harsh vulture like vocals that come at you like talons ripping flesh. The band's use of that wall of sound effect, a mainstay in symphonic black metal and of course the song structures. AETRANOK are the new name when it comes to great USBM. This release proves that.

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