Here we have 42 minutes of atmospheric black metal in the vein of the 90s second wave. The promo blurb mentions bands such as Darkthrone, Mayhem, Burzum, Drudkh, and Windir, and these influences are well-represented and well-used, without crowding out the artist’s own vision and personality.
The songs are expressive examples of feeling-rich blackened atmosphere. They are composed with a clear love for the source material, but with a confidence that has allowed the artist to forge worthy songs in their honour. I really like records that can remind me of the golden days of black metal’s second wave, while also offering an experience that is relevant and worthy of note for the present. Fuath’s music draws influence from the genre’s more atmospheric side, and the end result is something wonderfully engaging.
The music is cold and unforgiving, undeniably channelling winter’s bleak harshness with effortless skill. It is not without its beauty, however. II may be grim and hostile, but it carries with it winter’s inimitable allure, as well as the promise of spring.
The blasting aggression is expansive in nature, working with the exemplary blackened melodies very effectively. The sinister guitars seem to carve the music’s foundations out of frozen granite, which is then built on by the rest of the music into epic worldbuilding soundscapes. The songs are layered with shimmering keyboards and ethereal melodies, providing a richly multifaceted covering. Piercing screams then cut through everything like knives through biting wind.
It’s clear that a talented mind is behind this album, and the songwriting and performances are first class. I’ll also mention the drumming, performed by a session drummer, as the textured, frequently nuanced playing adds a lot to the songs, rounding them off nicely.
I’ve really enjoyed my time with II, and will no doubt continue to explore its frostbitten landscapes for some time to come.
Very highly recommended.