Strafk – Entomophobia (Review)

StrafkStrafk are a Russian black metal band and this is their second EP.

Their début EP, Phaseshifting, was experimental black metal, all dark, menacing guitars and free-form malevolence.

There are two tracks on this new release, with the entire EP lasting under 10 minutes in total, and it has a different feel to it than Phaseshifting.

Up first is a track named Φόβος, and starts off with a sinister buzzing, before introducing electronic effects. Building slowly, the track unfolds almost tenderly, with a vibe that is almost relaxed, if it wasn’t for the undercurrent of tension. When the guitars come in we are treated to some Arallu/Melechesh-style Middle-Eastern riffing with dark vocals coruscating in the song’s depths.

After a couple of minutes of this, the mood changes once more, before continuing with an increased The Meads of Asphodel feel to it. An emotive lead plays over the rhythm guitars, spending itself as the music begins to churn and rage increasingly.

By the end of the song all has descended into chaos and the playing comes to a halt as the lingering instruments fade away one by one.

The second, shorter track, Δεῖμος, is a more upbeat, energetic proposition. A melodic base is joined by the blackened guitars, driving the track forwards. The low-in-the-mix vocals continue in the same vein as the first track, but somehow seem more connected to the music this time.

A minute and a half in and I like what’s going on in the background; a rising sense of tension and alarm that eventually takes over, building until we are left with an ambient outro, ending the song.

I’m intrigued to see where Strafk go with their sound in the future. At less than 10 minutes in length there’s not a lot here, merely something to tantalise the listener. I enjoyed it, but I’m left wondering what they could do with more space and playing time available to them.

Only time will tell.

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