Nima : Unfortunately I haven’t heard the debut, ‘To The Shrine Of Ancestors’, from this Georgia-based formation, so this second album, 'Dark Evil Illusory Substance', is my first introduction to this band. And a very pleasant one, I might add! This is black metal just the way I like it: fast, fierce, atmospheric and delightfully old-fashioned (as it was done especially in the second half of the 90s).
The music of these gentlemen reminds me of bands like Dark Funeral, Setherial, Ragnarok, Naglfar, Tsjuder, and countless similar acts. Thanks to the influences from the death metal corner I regularly have to think of bands like Necrophobic and Trident also. Although the album is provided with enough variety, the majority of the material is quite up-tempo. And that is by no means intended as criticism, but it is the reason that the songs – as it often is the case with this type of music – are difficult to tell apart. This also contributes to the lack of memorability of the material and also to the lack of an own identity. Anyway, as said, this is often the case with this type of music and changes nothing about the fact that we are presented with a bunch of tasty black metallers that would make the dark Lord proud. The aggression and the evil radiate from the whole and the band has managed to create a delightfully dark atmosphere, and does come across catchy. The vocals are – despite the use of grunts – perhaps a bit monotonous, but nevertheless very strong. Also on instrumental level the gentlemen make a strong impression and come up with strong riffs and catchy melodies. It is not entirely clear to me whether we hear a drum computer here or not (in any case there is no drummer mentioned in the booklet), but if that is the case, it is certainly not disturbing. There is no complaining about production either; the album has a clear production, but does not sound too neat or polished, so the malicious and dirty, raw black metal character is kept intact. Finally, I think the cover artwork is fantastic and the booklet looks well taken care of as well.
All in all, 'Dark Evil Illustry Substance' is, in my opinion, a strong black metal record that will surely appeal to fans of the aforementioned bands and co.. The record was initially self-released in March and via the digital highways, followed by a CD-release via Black Market Metal Label, and now again on CD via Haarbn Productions in a limited edition of only 100 copies. So better act quickly.