After 2017’s enjoyable Potestas Magicum Diaboli, Asagraum are now back with another 26 minutes of second wave black metal worship.
This is occult black metal, played with fire and vigour. If Potestas Magicum Diaboli was an opening ceremony, then Dawn of Infinite Fire is the full blown ritual. Or, put another way, think of Dawn of Infinite Fire as taking the strengths of Asagraum’s debut album, and magnifying them; everything has been taken to the next level for this new release.
The music continues to combine energetic ferocity with grim atmosphere, only this time the band have learned from their first album and their songwriting is even better on Dawn of Infinite Fire. It was already pretty good on the debut album, but they have refined their formula further on these new songs. Overall the tracks on Dawn of Infinite Fire are slightly more compact and well-developed, saying more with less, and expressing themselves more eloquently.
The structuring and dynamics of the songs has improved, and Asagraum clearly have talent when it comes to blackened riffs. Firing out melodic streaks of violence alongside vicious blast beats, these sections sound more forceful than ever. When the band slow down though, they show a real talent for building occult, sinister atmosphere with moody music that begs to be played in the dark. Of course, most of the time Asagraum combine both aspects of their sound into their songs seamlessly, and the end result is engrossing and compelling.
The production on this album is perfectly judged and complements the music nicely. Everything is clear and solid, including the oft-neglected bass guitar, while still maintaining the correct sort of blackened aesthetic.
The vocals sound like liquid fire, molten and lethal. The singer’s blackened snarl accompanies the tracks like a deadly predator stalking the daemonic landscape. The singer’s voice is perfectly delivered for this sort of music, and her performance is first-rate, (there are even some unexpected clean vocals on the final track). The same can be said for the rest of the band too, as they collectively tear out their songs with passion and vibrant skill.
Asagraum have succeed in bringing their second wave black metal sound into the present day in such a way that there should be no doubt of how relevant the style still is in 2019. Dawn of Infinite Fire is an impressively-wrought and extremely enjoyable collection of black metal songs, and if you have any love for the style then I suggest you check out this album as a priority.