Tenebrae In Perpetuum/Krohm

Split

Written by: EW on 31/07/2010 12:10:41

With the thoroughly under-whelming experience of Italian black metallers Tenebrae In Perpetuum 2009 effort "L'Eterno Maligno Silenzio" still lingering in the memory the thought of their split with Krohm, an American unknown entity to me, never felt all that appealing. "L'Eterno..." was not so much bad, just indelibly dull, grey in more ways than one, and unable to stir any emotion in me whatsoever despite it's ticking of most of the grim BM boxes. At 3 songs each, with TIP's conveniently titled in Roman numerals, their offering is more of the same harrowing, bleak, destitute, raw BM ideal for frozen nights in surrounded by candlelight. "I", besides the typically distant tortures screams of pain, is slow and turgid, highlighted only by some powerful synth usage in the middle section. "II" continues along this path at greater speed before "III" starts more promisingly, picking up Darkthrone titbits along it's way to a conclusion of depressive misery notable more for it's unremitting bleakness than any particular musical endeavours found along the way.

Krohm's half begins in more ambient fashion with synth dominating over the distant scratchy guitars and Numinas' croaky vocals giving the air of a band (well, man) who doesn't enjoy life to the full. The slower pace in "The Black Bridge" is the most welcome moment so far though to proclaim any great musical prowess in it's work would be stretching the point too far; a hiss of guitars and flat simple drumming emit a decent atmosphere but nothing that hasn't been done ten thousand times before and won't a thousand more. "Toccato Dalla Desecrazione" (a tribute to Numinas' Italian friend in TIP?) feels as if a greater concentration has gone into it's construction as it's swaying rhythm and old Katatonia-like soloing add to the gloss of misery in more sophisticated fashion than TIP managed on their half. "Sentinel Monolith", beginning like an old Burzum outtake and retaining that charge for much of the song's duration may not affect the greater world of black metal but it's simple soloing and moments of tangible riff at least had me nodding in approval.

To disguise the fact both these one-man BM bands sound like dozens of others would be like arguing the Antarctic is a sweltering paradise, with only sporadic moments suggesting either have made much effort to create any sort of identity. A split for the elitist underground only then but if you want a victor from this contest, it would be USA 1 Italy 0.

Download: Sentinel Monolith, III
For the fans of: Unknown BM bands
Listen: Krohm myspace

Release date 30.04.2010
Debemur Morti Productions

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