Kostnatění is a one-man black metal band from the US and this is his second album.
Containing 40 minutes of unconventional black metal, Úpal is an atypical release that merges different genres and sounds into a blackened whole. A clash of cold, harsh dissonance and vibrant, melodic folk influences from around the globe, Úpal is a record that’s striking and impactful.
Úpal reminds me, sort of, of a smashing together of acts like Deathspell Omega, Arallu, Misþyrming, Melechesh, and Skáphe, although it definitely also has a flavour all of its own.
This is a technical release that somehow manages to not lose its emotive presence or atmospheric weight. Restrained chaos and slithering darkness effortlessly weave around sinuous psychedelia and angular lines. Deeply imbued into this are different musical ingredients from a variety of different places, making for music that is exotic, yet still recognisably black metal, albeit of a non-standard type.
The songs are well-constructed, balancing the various diverse materials that have built it into what it is. It’s creative and engaging, and never strays too far into any one musical territory; instead, it grounds everything in blackened dissonance, so that its component parts enhance and enrich its core, rather than dilute. Tracks like Opál and Skrýt se před bohem are also incredibly catchy.
The mixture of intricate complexity, vibrant rhythms, and folk melodies probably shouldn’t gel together quite as well as it does here, so it’s testament to the artist’s talents that it does so effectively. The artist behind Kostnatění clearly knows his art, and Úpal is very good, and very enjoyable.
Very highly recommended.