Mephorash
Death Awakens 

Grom Records 2011

I put on the debut from Mephorash knowing nothing about them, and immediately I thought to myself, this must be Swedish in origin.  The riffs were so distinctive and cold that I felt the music must originate from the frozen wastes of Scandinavia.  And of course, I was right.  After a long, amorphous intro, the cold melodies flowed like black evil from my speakers on Scathe and Burneth.  Traditional black metal shrieks punctuated the frigid soundscapes of the track as it alternated between rhythmic melodies and crisp mid-tempo passages.  The eerie plodding of The Black Path meanders along like a monk in solitude as he wanders among snowcovered landscapes.  The pace quickens like blood through fiery veins and brings the song to a climax.  Sleep Tight Chosen One is more of a monstrous beast with rolling drums and guitars that twist and turn like a feral animal.  A haunting melody introduces The Lies.  The melody is then morphed into a deep sounding hollow riff that summons visions of nocturnal forests buried in ice and cloaked in moonlight.  A similar structure and melodic phrasing encompasses the initial stage of the title-track.  However a black thrash riff surges out from those tranquil beginnings.  Mephorash crafts an album of distinctly Swedish black metal that hints at buried influences of bands like early Watain and Dissection and maybe a tiny bit of Nifelheim, however Death Awakens is wholly more obscure and infinitely darker than any of those bands.  If you like frozen melodies and obscure black metal, Mephorash will chill your hardened heart to its core.