What do you get if you combine raw black metal with industrial and dark ambient? You get Christ Clad in White Phosphorus.
The ugly, intense black metal parts are my favourite bits of this album, as they rage with an underground fury and intensity the likes of which most bands only aspire to. It’s not all about playing fast, it’s about a certain purity of aggressive intent and malevolent need to destroy. Caïna embody this nicely when they want to.
However, the black metal does not exist in isolation, and dark atmospherics and abrasive industrial noises accompany the music, adding an increased depth to the harsh soundscapes.
Some tracks are noise/dark ambient constructions, acting as buffers between the other songs where the band really explore their industrial side. Others are much more black metal in scope, although the industrial/noise influences are still there, lurking like evil predators. Other songs are a real merging of the two, consolidating everything the band know about grim intensity into compressed nastiness.
Snippets of raw melody appear here and there. Sometimes from the guitars, sometimes not, but always surrounded by the harsh auras of the rest of the music.
The desolate vocals are mainly perfectly traditional blackened screams that sound needle-thin, utterly ferocious and are probably used to drawing blood. The most noticeable exception is the last song, (and title track), which features clean vocals and, as a song, comes across as a kind of dark 80s experimental pop song. Very nice.
Christ Clad in White Phosphorus is not an album that many people will take to readily, which is a real shame, as it’s clear a lot of work has gone into this release. Fans of underground black metal and coarse electronics should definitely pay attention to Caïna though, as their misanthropic sound is quite the aural treat if you like things bleak and nasty.