Khragkh – Ersatz (Review)

KhragkhKhragkh are a black metal band from Belarus and this is their debut album.

Khragkh offer us 34 minutes of underground black metal on their latest release. Stylistically this sits somewhere between old-school and new, with enough elements from both to appeal to almost any fan of dark, cold black metal.

The songs are well-written and have plenty of frozen bite. I like the band’s use of melody in particular, as it manages to feature heavily in what they produce, but without sounding overly dominating or their defining quality. Existing comfortably alongside this is the omnipresent blackened distortion, providing a bedrock of grim nastiness that the streamlined melody adds layers to.

Each of the seven songs on this release are differentiated quite nicely against themselves. They’re all individually recognisable on their own merits, and there are some really good ideas and finishing touches distributed throughout them.

The singer’s blackened screams are well-performed, and he seems to have a talent for delivering vocal lines and patterns that are more memorable than most.

This is a surprisingly catchy collection of songs, but in a subtle, insidious way. On the first listen it’s clear that this is an above-standard release, but with subsequent spins the album reveals itself in its full splendour; Khragkh are clearly a band of both skill and vision. Ersatz is an extremely enjoyable and satisfying black metal album.

Very highly recommended.

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