This is Old-School Black Metal with a distinct streak of personality and individuality about it. The core is of the 80’s/early 90’s Black Metal fused with an unusual album art/band logo and with added musical flourishes such as a few more modern moments and unexpected guitar solos/leads.
Subtle keyboard embellishments haunt the tracks like a ghost of forbidden memory just playing around the edges of perception. It’s almost like it’s not there, but you can definitely sense something on the outskirts of hearing.
The riffs are interesting and inventive and the general structure of the songs is an impressive homage to all things dark Metal. The band use melody well and manage to infuse the tracks with a sense of wonder and awe in addition to the usual Black Metal trappings.
Not content with this there are some Celtic Frost influences at play here as well as a bit of a Death/Morbid Angel-inspired Death Metal influence on occasion. They even flirt with some almost sci-fi touches now and then.
The songs are ambitious and as the above description shows they are not afraid to throw different influences into the blender. It all works.
The same is true of the vocals; although primarily an Old-School Black Metal croak there are also deeper grunts and cleaner utterances as well as shouting and chanting.
The sound is authentically Old-School and could in fact be some long-lost gem from decades ago.
This is a top-of-the-line Metal album with lots to draw the listener in and keep them enraptured. This is one Despot to be listened to attentively.