Here we have 48 minutes of atmospheric black metal, a mixture of the beautiful and the harsh. Although you may think that these two things oppose each other, Shaidar Logoth ably show that this does not have to be the case. Parts of this record are brutally aggressive, while others are achingly emotive; it is a tribute to the band’s songwriting abilities that they’re able to combine these different aspects so effectively.
So, on the one hand this is an album filled with mournfully affecting melodies, bleak ambient darkness, and richly textured soundscapes. The band clearly know a thing or two about how to write this sort of material, and the songs on Chapter III: The Void God are captivating because of it. It’s easy to lose yourself in their hypnotic mood-building as the songs unfold. Great structures of atmospheric grandeur are crafted with ease, with the band also making good use of dark ambience to create their engaging blackened vision.
On the other hand, the album is packed with the sort of brutal black metal that’s uncommonly nasty and malevolent. The harsher elements of the music here are of the modern dissonant school of black metal, and Shaidar Logoth wield their dissonance like a wrecking ball covered in bloody spikes. Shaidar Logoth are abrasive in the most compelling of ways, although there are elements of the classic and atmospheric black metal styles here too.
The true marvel of the album is that both sides of the music work so well together, that the transitions between one and the other are mostly seamless and finely wrought. On occasions where this join between one style and the next is jarring and uncomfortable, it is apparent that it’s meant to be that way, shocking the system with distorted malice where none was expected.
Chapter III: The Void God is a very well-crafted album that deserves to be explored with attention and due care, lest the harsher elements of the music cause damage.
Very highly recommended for any fan of atypical black metal.