Although this is ostensibly a solo project, (from the man that brought us the mighty Aureole), it also features several session musicians and guests, (most notably from Esoteric and Svartidauði), which help to flesh out the release.
This immense album features only four tracks, but with a playing time of 66 minutes there’s a lot of material here to get lost in. The songs are as long and involved as you’d think, boasting all manner of dark delights and malevolent extremity across the breadth of the album.
This is dissonant, avant-garde extreme metal that has a foundation of black metal, skilfully built on by the artist; it’s a hybrid style that incorporates elements of both death metal and doom into its grim embrace. There’s also a twisted psychedelic aspect weaved into the tracks on occasion too, which I quite like.
The songs cover a lot of ground as they progress, with almost all extreme metal bases hit in one way or another at some point. The tracks show a mastery of the three main styles – black, death, and doom metal – so that the music merges all of them seamlessly into a cohesive, coherent blackened whole.
Atmospheric in a hostile and harsh manner, non-standard instruments appear here and there, enhancing the black moods and foreboding atmospheres created by the mastermind behind this superlative work. Piano, horns, cello, and others are all used effectively to add to the music’s sense of spiritual wrongness, creating a comprehensive nightmarescape that wants to envelop the listener whole.
This is bleak and harrowing music that’s claustrophobic and airless when it wants to be, with harsh dissonance, self-exhumed blackened distortion, and funeral-grade doom leads all warring for supremacy amidst a sea of tortured souls and lost hopes.
This is so good it’s just painful. Tchornobog is definitely one of the most impressive releases so far this year. This is a mandatory listen for anyone into the darker side of extreme music.