The Tenebrous Journey Split CD
Mahtra Records 2007
One day out of the blue this unassuming Split CD landed in my post. So without any preconceived notions on what to expect I put in the disk player and was surprised by what I heard. What we have are three tracks each from two different one man bands and their individualistic impression on raw and primitive black metal. Bladesmith is faster and more straightforward whereas Ohvrikivi is more consumed by atmosphere within the folds of their tracks. Plus I really love the guitar tone and the fact that he isn't using a drum machine like Bladesmith is. That drum machine serves to make the music seem a little flat. There is a strong undercurrent of Burzum influence on the material from Ohvrikiv on the split but that serves as a foundation rather than a blatant rip-off and tempo and continuously repeated riffs inflict a hypnotic effect on me. Berg speeds things up on his final track Through the Forest but of course he also tempers the raging anger with some crawling hideousness. Another that helps separate the two bands are the vocals. Bladesmith's vocals are more sickening with a feel of putrescence as Erik vomits forth his lyrics. Berg of Ohvrikivi's vocals are more traditional and have that same distorted sound to them that Varg's(Burzum) did on the Filosofem album. I like the vocal chant effect that Erik uses on In the Wake of Darkness I shall Rise. I am not a fan of how they have the tracks split up with one from Bladesmith and then one from Ohvrikivi and they continue to alternate through the disk. It makes listening to the CD a little distracting for me as I am constantly having to shift gears between the two artists. Especially when I prefer one band over the other as is the case with me enjoying Ohvrikivi to a greater degree than Bladesmith. In general though this is an interesting listen that gives two different perspectives on a bloodfreezing and soulless theme, raw and unmerciful black metal! Tradition not only has survived but it has managed to thrive within the hearts of these two artists.