Helde / The Somberlain 

Cold Raw Records 2014

This split features two of Spain's most hellish denizens vomiting forth demonic black metal that is gritty and cold.  Each band has two songs on display and they leave you with no doubt as to their devilish intent!

First up is Helde and they are the rawer of the two bands.  The first song Azken Hatsa is cruel and aggressive.  Darkthrone references can be heard in the midtempo riffing as the track gets underway.  Disharmonic accents give way to blasts of fierce black metal hatred.  The drumming is definitely the driving force of the song and elicits a frenzied attack during the song's latter stages as sawing riffs flow over speedy hammering drum patterns.  Loihezko Jainkoak begins with cold dissonance and then unloads a storm of vehemence upon your eardrums!  This is pure audio violence.  Half way through the song a Darkthrone-ish vibe picks up in its black thrashy riffing.

That brings us to The Somberlain with its bassy, eruption of aggression and speed from the outset of Armageddon.  In some way it reminds me a bit of Sabbat but I think that has to do with the primitive raucous style employed on this track.  Black From The Tomb is a different story though with its more atmospheric style.  Slowly brooding guitars create a sense of foreboding in the listener and then a fiery, near melodic passage flows freely, like a howling wind.  The song slows to a crawl with atmospheric flourishes that give you a sense that you are slowly freezing to death.  Then we are once again scorched with Satanic speed.

Spain's underground is alive and full of demonic might as is evidenced by the material from these two unholy hordes.  Similar and different at the same time, Helde and The Somberlain fuel my desire for more from these two morbid entities.