Barshasketh – Barshasketh (album)

Release date: 15th January 2019 || Genre: Black Metal  || Label: World Terror Committee

I’m not usually one to be totally sucked in by aesthetics, but, by all the gods, this is one beautiful package! And on limited edition double vinyl, none-the-less! I had to have it! I guess this is the effect Barshasketh were going for with their all-out approach to a self-titled release around a decade into their existence. Extreme music materialism taken care of, however, it’s time to get wired into what it sounds like.

Pleasingly, equal lavishment has been paid to the sound production, and listeners are treated to a clear and intentionally balanced mix, which still retains its black metal grit. Each instrument is unobtrusively heard, but a wall-of-sound crashes over the more frantic moments.

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The songs themselves are an almost-relentless, phantasmal blitz. The chittering attack of untiring blast-beats. Guitars flitting between cascading malevolence and sinister drilling. Glass-shredded vocals which leave the Crypt Keeper sounding like the epitome of chubby joviality. It’s not until track four, the spectral intro of Consciousness II, that we get any kind of substantial reprieve. It really helps to add texture to the onslaught, just when you start to think you might not survive until the end. It’s not long, however, until the intensity kicks back in, and things descend once more into the preceding cthonic, arachnoid frenzy.

This is a great spin of haunting intensity, and a perfect addition to any black metal collection. If you get a chance to hear it, do so, but if you manage to lay your hands on the double-vinyl, grab it and don’t let go.

Grade: A

Slow Dragon

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