A single 20-minute slog of evil, buzzing Russian black metal? Yes, please! We start out here with some grinding static that sounds like we’ve wandered into an ominously vibrating boiler room. A couple minutes of that and the evil priest joins us, whispering his way through the entirety of Isaiah 24. (“Behold the Lord lays the earth waste.”) The keyboards start spitting out thick, whining Xenakis-like aural slabs, which really become painful to listen to when the boilers suddenly shut off. After assaulting the ears for a bit the wailing too fades away, and here comes the metal trudge, with the singer shrieking for all he’s worth and the music going for that big-cameras-panning-slowly-across-the-fjords ambience—or maybe across the ice-sheets of Gehenna. Then that stops, too, and we’ve got some throbbing tones that evoke funeral bells, mournful and pretty. The priest comes back to whisper through the eviler portion of Deuteronomy 28. (“The Lord will strike you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat.”) Then he rasps to a halt and the bells go on for a bit before the track ends.
I really like the pacing and the transitions here. The improbably named mastermind AL-LA-ShT-ORR has a great sense of structure, adding elements or fading out sections slowly enough that you get that metal sense of grinding inevitability but quickly enough that you don’t get bored. And extra points for vicious Bible-verse selection. Ithdabquth Qliphoth’s most recent full-length is titled Fyre Walk With Me; I’ll definitely be searching that out.