At Dusk/Sacerdos – Split (Review)

At Dusk SacerdosAt Dusk and Sacerdos are both black metal bands from the US, with At Dusk being a one-man entity and Sacerdos being a duo.

At Dusk’s contribution to this release is one 15 minute song named Condemned.

Starting slowly, with softly-building drums and samples, it’s not long before we’re in high-velocity waters, with a fuzzy blackened sound and grim shouted screams.

The track is raw and violent, driving its atmosphere forward with wilful disdain for niceties. The song uses a mixture of second wave fury and slower, atmospheric, doom sections to fill out its playing time, and this juxtaposition of styles works quite nicely. I probably favour the slower parts for sheer power of building mood and feeling, but the faster sections are not without their charms either, of course.

There’s a notable depressive black metal feel to some parts of the track, and in some aspects of the vocals, but this is not as huge a component of this song as it is in some of At Dusk’s other work.

I really quite enjoyed this track. I also like the how the song ends, with atmospheric keyboards playing us out.

We now move on to Sacerdos, who also contribute a single track, which is slightly shorter at almost 14 minutes in length.

The song is named Hexagonum and the style is black metal infected with ambient sections. What does this mean in reality? In simplistic terms it means that the song repeatedly moves between heavier and softer sections, but there’s a lot more here than this simple description reveals, actually.

Sacerdos have a less-raw delivery than At Dusk, yet one that’s still suitably blackened and underground. The more powerful sound is used well to power some atypical riffs that are enhanced by keyboards to create a quite atmospheric sound that reminds me of some of the more experimental releases from near the end of the 90s. I’m thinking a more coherent Ebony Lake, or a less-experimental Dødheimsgard, or even Cradle of Filth if they were more experimental, maybe.

These are only fleeting impressions though, and Sacerdos certainly don’t sound like any of those three bands in any huge way. I also hear some Paradise Lost in the band’s guitar melodies and mid-paced delivery, for example, especially around the roughly mid-way mark in the track.

What this all adds up to is a very diverse, layered, and textured piece of music, one which I’ve quite enjoyed. Unlike At Dusk, this is my first encounter with Sacerdos’ music, and I’m impressed.

This is a quality release between two different types of black metal band that both work quite nicely together. With almost half an hour of material, it’s worth the time and money investment too.

Check this out.


3 thoughts on “At Dusk/Sacerdos – Split (Review)”

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