Rather than a rumored four-way split, the next item in this collection is an actual three-way split called Carved by the Winds Eternal. The three participating bands, each of whom contributed two songs, are all from Greece: Lord Impaler, Dizziness, and Hell Poemer.
I wrote about one of Lord Impaler’s tracks (“The Fire That Burns”) in a previous edition of Shades of Black, and to repeat what I said there, the song does indeed burn with fiery intensity, driven by attention-grabbing drumwork, seething riffs, and inflamed vocal tirades. Yet the song is also atmospheric and mesmerizing, with a brooding indigo melody that seeps into the skin like a narcotic poison. The second Lord Impaler song, “Call From the Grave” begins in more deliberate fashion but soon enough begins to race and rip, with an exotic melody slithering through the song like a reptile as the music moves back and forth between boiling chaos and a dark, mid-paced, rocking lurch.
Dizziness released their second album, Bound By Strength, last year, but the two tracks on this split are the first of their songs I’ve heard, and they’re both very good. “Goddess of the Moon” is dark and majestic; at first, panoramic guitar melodies flow over racing drum rhythms and the huge pulse of the bass, and then the song becomes almost ethereally beautiful as the pace slows — though the jagged, strangled vocals counterbalance the cosmic allure of the melody. The second song, “‘Άρπυιες”, is equally appealing and dynamic, a mix of high, rippling guitar melodies and heavy, jabbing, militaristic riffs and rhythms, with the big thrumming bass again playing a significant role.
Hell Poemer’s two tracks — “The Sacral Knot of Hierophant” and “My Dreams Will Stay Frozen On the Mountains” — appear to be the band’s first releases since their 2013 debut album Arcane Mysteries of Dead Ancestors., and they complement the music of the other two bands quite well. The first song is a high-intensity romp that combines dark, soaring keyboard and guitar melodies with jolting rhythms and ravaging vocals. The second song employs similar ingredients, though the bright, dreamlike keyboard melody is perhaps more prominent and the song more devoted to mid-paced melancholy.
For fans of melodic black metal that includes memorable melodies without sacrificing savagery, this split is an excellent find.
The split is available now as a digital download at Bandcamp, although it will be available on CD through War Productions, The Ritual Productions, and Satanath Records, and available on tape via Black Death Productions.