Often overlooked, but never disappointing, Darvulia has consistently produced some of the most unique Black Metal of the last decade. The band’s sparse catalog reflects its dedication to and the complexity of its work. The material on this new release is a departure from the band’s previous releases, however. Consisting of a single, 17-minute track of ritualistic and atmospheric improvisational music that defies simple categorization, Darvulia’s side of this split finds the band exploring more ritual and ambient territory. Sektarism, a band that also hails from France and features a member of Darvulia, provides a sprawling 20-minute track for the B-side of this release. Sektarism’s unique brand of bleak, ceremonial doom is an appropriate rejoinder to Darvulia’s morose presentation. While Darvulia’s side is sparse, Sekatarism’s sound is full, oppressive, and pulverizing. It is persistent in its approach – repetitive, but not monotonous. As Sektarism’s track progresses, it breaks apart and disintegrates into noise laden bass drones that approach the minimalism that characterizes Darvulia’s side of the release. In this way, this split reflects a concerted approach by both bands to attain an atmospheric consistency will still retaining the unique stylistic flourishes of each band.
supported by 4 fans who also own “Darvulia / Sektarism split”
Though inferior to The Law of Seven Deaths (which is definitely one of 2019’s best black metal albums), Behold the Son of Plagues features atmospheric black metal with aggressive, almost thrash-like riffing. This is a surprisingly muscular release, but is not mindlessly linear and has good moments of introspection to break up the generally riff-heavy assault. The growth demonstrated between Akrotheism’s two full-length albums is phenomenal, and while their most recent is most worthy of your attention, this album is still mighty impressive. Ippocalyptica