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Elderblood – Achrony

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 18 September 2021, 7:09 AM

ELDERBOOD is a Black Metal duo from the Ukraine. Formed in 2011, “Achrony” is their third full-length album, and contains ten tracks. “Sparks” leads off the album. It’s a short, two-minute instrumental, with juxtaposed female chants and nefarious background noises. Segueing into “The Great Fire of Sacrifice,” which begins with weighted guitars, and Black Metal chaos. More focus is placed on the structure of the sound, rather than traditional elements you might come to expect from the genre. The result is harrowing, evil sounds that really take hold.

“Fallen Seraphs” begins with scratchy guitars and some symphonic elements. Bass notes can be clearly heard, something that often gets lost in the mix when it comes to Black Metal. The vocal style is also varied, from deep cleans, to harsh vocals fry. “Holy Plague” opens with a raucous, full-steam ahead sound, complete with symphonic elements, augmenting the sound. It takes a turn around the half-way mark, then returns, with shrieking leads. “Life Eternal” begins with a slower, gutsier pace, with spoken words. Tight instrumental passages flow from there. One thing the band is not short on is musicianship.

“Virgin Land Plowed Over by Death” features some meter shifting which is pretty impressive, and again something you don’t often hear in the genre. A commanding sound ensues, as if an army is stomping over the lands, stopping at nothing to wipe out their enemy. “Soot” begins with slow, thumping bass guitar over a bed of crackling rhythms and symphonic elements that are both solemn and scary at the same time. Spoken word comes in, followed by some lead guitar work. Light rain opens “The One who has not yet Come” is a prophetic piece, highlighting the coming of someone dark…Satan perhaps? Clouds of darkness and a thick fog accompany the coming of the nameless.

“Sainthood Stench” opens with a full, sharp sound of instruments, complete with a healthy dose of symphonic elements. They create this solemn, burdensome effect at times, while at others a more punishing and heavy sound. “The New Testament” closes the album. It’s the longest song, coming in at seven-and-a-half-minutes in length. The slow stench of death arises, in lumbering music that suddenly spring to life with shouts and harmonized rhythm guitars. Wait for it, something is brewing towards the end…something that ultimately remains hidden.

This was a pretty good album overall. I generally find that Black Metal musicians from the Ukraine put more emphasis into their songwriting, and less on the traditional elements of the genre. This results in a listenable album that is free from the confines of the FWOBM boundaries. The production is also clear, another difference within the genre. This is a harrowing, dark album that all Black Metal fans would thoroughly enjoy.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Sparks
2. The Great Fire of Sacrifice
3. Fallen Seraphs
4. Holy Plague
5. Life Eternal
6. Virgin Land Plowed Over by Death
7. Soot
8. The One who has not yet Come
9. Sainthood Stench
10. The New Testament
Staggaret – Guitars
Astargh – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Record Label: Drakkar Productions


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