This is the third album from Scáth na Déithe, an Irish black/death metal band.
Having enjoyed 2020’s The Dirge of Endless Mourning, I have been looking forward to what Virulent Providence has to offer. It has not disappointed.
Virulent Providence is 40 minutes long and features only two colossal tracks. It thunders into existence without fanfare, as all good albums do. The sound is underground and raw, but immense and rich. Scáth na Déithe project feeling and emotive presence with ease, delivering music that is highly atmospheric and mood-heavy.
The music is well-crafted, benefitting from an atmospheric approach that nonetheless also contains many direct elements that hit hard, (the scathing heaviness is harrowing). Death metal muscle complements the blackened core well, and this is subsumed into the overarching framework of gloomy black metal seamlessly. Overall the death metal aspects are less overt than they were previously though, and the black metal influences are ascendent throughout this release. Additionally, a broader range of colour, shading, and texture has been applied to the songs, making for a multifaceted listen that’s absorbing in its grim atmospheric majesty.
Virulent Providence is the sound of a band producing their strongest work. Scáth na Déithe have embraced the black metal arts more holistically than before, but still have their own hybrid black/death personality fully intact and further developed.
Highly enjoyable, richly satisfying, and very recommended for any fan of underground atmosphere-heavy extremity.