Kostnitsa     

Temple Pestis
BDTO/Daemon Worship Productions
2012

From the cold and barren landscapes of Russia comes music that is equally desolate.  The debut album from Kostnitsa freezes tears as they fall from your face.  The slowly drifting swirl of Dance of Death envelopes you like the breath of winter before you are completely swallowed by the Burzum-esque When.  The bouncy tempo and mournful guitar tone reverberate with misanthropy.  Upward arcs of synth float across thin, trebly guitars and tortured vocals.  Hints of Katatonia echo in the rhythmic repetition of the riffs.  A permanent sadness touches every note of End of Sorrowful Life.  Dramatic movements of synth and traditional doom riffs take on a darker, more ominous mood when coupled with the blackened rasps of the singer.  A black metal version of Katatonia ushers in a new wave of subzero temperatures on Suicidal Thoughts.  And indeed that is an appropriate title as the riffs take you into melancholic depths of introspection.  The dancing fretwork at the 1:45 mark fills me with epic sorrow.  Dark Rooms uses a bombastic drum beat to emphasize the forlorn melody that drives the song.  The main riff is somewhat of a middle ground between Warning and early Katatonia.  The whole pace of the song is like one rain-soaked trudge across dark, gloomy soundscapes.  Through Doors of Grief takes the same blueprint to further rob your soul of any warmth of hope.  The final track is the solitary shimmering of algid guitar.  Kostnitsa's style is one of woeful beauty as traditional doom meets Katatonia and is then draped in frigid black metal.  As such, Temple Pestis is a tragedy filled journey through snow-covered vistas.  I am left bereft of hope and filled with frozen isolation.  All color has left me except for the icy white of still snow under the moonlight.