This is a split based around a single concept, (the concept of Theion, the divine fire that burns but never consumes), with each band contributing their individual vision of occult black metal to the overarching whole. A lot of time and effort has obviously gone into this release, which is reflected in the lengthy playing time of 68 minutes.
We start with Precaria and their part which consists of 25 minutes of esoteric black metal that’s furiously delivered with the passion of the zealot.
Largely fast and furious, and with a malevolent grandeur running through it, the music twists and turns through the playing time. Fiery blast beats war with heated sermons for the prevalent focal point, with subtle keyboards adding extra depth in the background, seeming to lurk behind the barbed facade of the guitars, the pounding drums, and the pulpit of the singer. These keyboards shouldn’t be discounted, however, and have a serious presence in certain parts of the songs, leading to some impressive atmosphere being created.
The chanted vocals of the singer are one of the more striking features of this band, but they also have some quality melodies wrapped around their vicious rhythm guitars. The latter may be more low-key than the former, but are still worthy of note.
Precaria’s mix of classic and modern deliveries works very well here, and their music is very well-received by yours truly. It’s a strong collection of fury and ritualistic atmosphere to open this split with.
The impressively named Deathspiral of Inherited Suffering are up next, with 21 minutes of what is apparently the first recorded output of this band.
Although Precaria’s music is undoubtedly fast, furious, and merciless, Deathspiral of Inherited Suffering are a more brutal proposition, while still remaining largely savagely fast. The songs here are have a more muscular side to them than the other bands on this split, betraying death metal roots alongside the blackened ones.
The band make an immense noise, drowning the listener in dissonant riffs and harsh blasting. Their blackened death metal is ugly and grim, and sounds like something vomited up from the darkest parts of the abyss. This is less multifaceted and textured than Precaria’s visceral onslaught, at least most of the time, and instead Deathspiral of Inherited Suffering offer music that’s more straightforward in its aggression. This is only by comparison, however, as the black metal side of the band means that there’s more here than simple death metal brutality; many interesting ideas and creative flourishes are seen across the tracks, from slower, atmospheric parts, to some doom metal-influenced leads, to softer ambient sections.
The singer’s brutal deathgrowls are a welcome addition to the music too, and both his voice and the rest of the music are pitch-black in delivery.
This is an impressive few songs that Deathspiral of Inherited Suffering have produced here, with their black/death metal delivery being well-balanced between outright brutality and nuanced structuring. I look forward to hearing more from this group in the future. If this is anything to go by, whatever they do next will be worth hearing.
Finally we encounter Dominus Ira, a one man project, who closes the split with 23 minutes of dark black metal.
Dominus Ira’s contribution has a more traditional second wave influence that’s immediately apparent, and the songs are more frosted and windswept when compared to Precaria’s fiery delivery, or Deathspiral of Inherited Suffering’s abyssal malevolence.
There’s a depressive black metal tinge to some of the music on Dominus Ira’s tracks too, but this is not a huge part of the songs’ sound. Rather, it’s simply one aspect of the melting pot we find here, which also includes, at various points, some mournful bass, punk energy, majestically cold guitars, icy groove, and rich melody. Out of all of this I want to focus on the bass guitar’s use a little more, as this is an aspect of Dominus Ira’s sound that I particularly enjoyed. Rather than effectively being invisible as it is in most black metal bands, (or most bands in general), I find that it frequently plays an important part in the songs here, which is something that I appreciate.
The singer has an orthodox scream that’s nice to hear after the other styles used by the other two bands.
Overall this is a prime split from three different bands each with their own take on blackened extreme metal. It’s rare to hear bands working together collectively on a concept like they have done here, and this feeds into the music itself. Each of the three bands on this split very much have their own identities and ways of working, but they have effectively come together to produce something greater than the sum of its parts. All three bands are to be commended for crafting something as high quality as this, and Metamorphosphoros is a split you won’t want to miss out on if you’re a fan of underground black metal.