Opus Morte III
Russian misanthropes Deathmoor return with their third album of extreme and forlorn hatred. The first track, I, is a thin and trebly experience in the boiled down essence of black metal. Freezing riffs with an undercurrent of sadness drift across the snapping drums like snow while the vocals scrape and claw at your eardrums embodying grimness. Clean vocals that remind me of Ulver's singing passages usher in a slow and deathly segment that chills the listener to the bone. Icy, yet sultry riffs begin II which initially calls reference to Ved Buens Ende, and in the end I guess this is a reasonable comparison to the material as a whole, though not as adventurous and fever-dream-esque. With the sung vocals bringing a spiritual, mystical quality to the song it is a mild surprise when disharmonic riffs and black metal shrieks pierce the inherent tranquility of the track. Hollow and distant guitar and fragile synth and string weave a moody, almost ambient-jazz instrumental on III. It conjures images of empty nights and pale lights. A relaxing cymbal ride and rumbling double-bass accompany sawing riffs and scratchy vocals, unified with clean vocals for that Ulver meets VBE feel to the songwriting on V. Like a northern gale, a blast of frigid riffs sweeps in at the 2:45 mark and leaves nothing but lifeless misanthropic desolation in its wake. The track drops back into midtempo meandering, a sort of guitar driven dance where witches cavort with macabre spirits. With Opus Morte III, Deathmoor is a black metal band that pushes towards realms of the dream-like without forgetting to embrace the barbaric darkness that lurks within their demonic souls.