|Review: Graveland/Nokturnal Mortum/North/Temnozor - Eastern Hammer|
Label: Hammerbolt Productions
Year released: 2007
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: January 5, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (8 Votes)
A little collection of Eastern European Black Metal powerhouses here. I was surprised when I saw this, since I was sure that Poland's North had split up and never gotten back together. Four bands with four different styles of Black Metal here. None of the offerings here is a departure from what each band has gotten us used to. Graveland take up almost half the total duration with a song faithful to their signature sound of the past few years - no showing off, just a long epic war march-like song with Darken's usual low BM vocals that blend with the almost medieval tone of the music. If you like what Graveland have done in the past few years, you'll most likely like this. After that rather dark-sounding epic, "Kolyada" by Nokturnal Mortum is quite a departure in sound, with a much more noticeable folkish keyboard work and more lively BM vocals that make this sound pretty upbeat. This is not unlike the kind of stuff we heard on "NeChrist". North's "To Break a Cross, To Break a Neck" is aptly named, in that it's by far the most violent form of Black Metal offered on this split, which is what one is bound to expect from this band which never got into the "mellow" (relatively speaking) Black Metal sound. A few seconds of this song pack more violence and chaos than all three others combined. Temnozor kick the folk vibe up quite a bit with a very solemn-sounding song, which is also the only one here that incorporates a good mix of clean and raspy vocals. Like Nokturnal Mortum, the keyboards are hard to miss and are the main folk driver here, although the clean vocals give an added edge to that aspect of the music.
Four good songs from four good bands that sound nothing alike make this unfortunately short split an enjoyable listen. This is the kind of CD that makes you reach for each band's catalog and load up that CD changer.
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