Crown of Asteria/Nodus Tollens – Split (Review)

Crown of Asteria Nodus Tollens - SplitCrown of Asteria is a one-woman black metal band from the US, and Nodus Tollens in a one-man black metal band, also from the US.

The split opens with the single 19-minute track Claw of the Firemaker by Crown of Asteria. The style is nature-influenced atmospheric black metal with elements of doom, folk, and ambient mixed in. It’s raw and unpolished, but this simply adds to the music’s charms.

Winding melodies are used well, adopting an approach that seems to be one note short of inducing madness in the listener. Some of the riffs on this song are downright barbed, however, and although the song is ultimately an atmospheric one at heart, it’s on the harsher side of the spectrum when compared to some groups that share the epithet.

That’s only the case until the aggression burns itself out, however. Once it has, the track adopts a more restrained approach, with an extended acoustic passage that leans into the folk side of the project more. The artist behind this band is adept at mood-setting, and is seemingly at home building immersive soundscapes like this.

Very good stuff.

Nodus Tollens’ music is depressive black metal with an atmospheric delivery. This side of the split contains two tracks, with a total duration of 18 minutes.

Morir de Fam opens with a lonesome guitar and forlorn melody, and reveals itself to be an emotive song that has some blackgaze influences alongside the depressive ones. It’s a textured piece that blends its influences well across the track, and features the sort of low-in-the-mix static-esque vocals that I particularly like for music of this sort. Morir de Fam is a good introduction to what this new act is capable of, but it’s merely a generous warm up compared to what comes next.

Second track Vulpes Pilum Mutat takes the strengths of the first and improves on them, producing a track that’s a real highlight of the release, ending the split in style. Guest viola appears on this song, enhancing the music and creating something quite beautiful. The addition of viola fits the music’s style perfectly, and merges with the underlying blackened depressive metal with ease. Well-written and dripping with feeling, this expressive track draws you in and holds your face to the darkness until you can really feel it.

This is a very strong split release, featuring worthy music from both artists. I highly recommend that you check this out.

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