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Kafirun – Eschaton

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 12 September 2017, 2:29 PM

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada’s Black Metal band KAFIRUN formed in 2014. Following the release of two EPs and a Split, the band presents their debut full-length album here titled “Eschaton.” In English, “Eschaton” means “the final event in the divine plan; the end of the world.” I’ve said before that Black Metal might be the most expansive genre in Metal out there these days, and the boundaries of what fans find acceptable are quite wide. You still have those purists however who insist on recycling the sounds of the forefathers to which I always ask, “why?” Blaze your own trail. Create your own mark in the musical world. Unfortunately this is largely what we have here with “Eschaton.”

Right away the muted production hits you with a fuzzy haze, like you are in a half-conscious state of mind and unable to sense everything in your immediate perception. Lazifaust’s vocals are traditional as well, though not the high, drawn out shrieks that you often hear, but rather the hushed echoes that sound like someone who is being slowly tortured. Indistinguishable for the most part, the result is frightening and nefarious for sure. When it comes to the guitar, we have those fast picked guitar riffs that carry the same presence throughout, an unrelenting attack whose aim is to overwhelm. The bass guitar is there but not very prominently. It holds down a bottom end fairly well but does not venture in and out of the riffing for the most part. As you would have expected, the percussion is intense, with no loss of blast beat bass and snare throughout.

The songs themselves vary in style and pacing to some degree, but share all too much in common for a diverse presentation. “Lord of Blessed Murder” for example is the proto-typical Black Metal sound that I described above, ablaze with fire that in the spectrum of light and heat is at the top. “Omega Serpent” utilized that four chord pattern you often hear in Black Metal, where they notes go up a half step, back to the original, down a half-step, and then back to the start. The hypnotic effect is what is desired, and is certainly achieved, but doesn’t much for much dynamism. “Ephemerality of the Flesh” is harrowing and evil, and absolutely pulverizing to boot, leaving the listener wondering if the percussion could possibly be played by a living creature. It’s also the first track where there is a brief pause and a few ambient moments to enjoy, though they don’t last long.

Overall, I find this squarely rooted in the history and traditions of the genre. Fans of Old School Black Metal will surely take a liking to this, as it is rich with integrity in that regard. The energy and intensity of the band members individually is also quite noteworthy, as is the nearly complete absence of purity and light that they have snuffed out with all the dark forces of the underworld. Beyond that however, it just didn’t provoke me in any other manner, and was too homogenous from track to track.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. Lord of Blessed Murder
2. Eschaton
3. Omega Serpent
4. Divine Providence
5. Prophetic Death Trance
6. Ephemerality of the Flesh
7. Omnipresence
Luzifaust – Vocals
Hanephi – Guitars
Hypnocrotizer – Bass
Mesmorphion – Drums 
Record Label: Seance Records


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