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Malist – Karst Relict

Karst Relict
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 12 March 2021, 11:30 AM

"Karst Relict" completes the album trilogy of “Karst Realm” and the path of a nameless hero through its vast nether halls and mountain hollows. Slave to the will of the Tyrant King, the hero slowly comes to his senses as he attempts to uncover the truth to all the inhabitants of the kingdom, that there is a whole world outside the cave they have been living in; that the ruler of this realm is the source of their never-ending misery and grief. The King punishes his former servant with death, unwittingly summoning a violent cataclysm…the album contains eight tracks.

“Remaining Light” opens the album. It’s a seven-minute track. Opening with doleful clean guitars, played a slow rhythm, some lead notes soon join in. The main riff drops, and in come the harsh vocals. The layers Ovfrost builds here is impressive. It takes a darker turn as it approaches the half-way mark, with these charming keyboard notes. Some desperate sounding spoken words appear, then it’s back to the original sound. “Satellite” begins with a heavy and aggressive sound, with those dual guitars keeping the harmony. It stays its course until the end, when it slows with some piano notes.

“Timeless Torch” begins with clean guitar notes, which are a little sad. Drums kick in, as does the main riff. There is a discernable pattern from the guitar work. Some guttural vocals sound in, creating a very harrowing effect. Towards the end, come clean guitars work into the mix, and it rolls to completion. “A Way Through Limbo” begins with low guitar tones, while a thick bed of bass guitars lays underneath. Cleans are added, then the main riff drops. It’s a slow and melancholy affair. The clean vocals add to the despair.

“Lifeless Ease of Nonbeing” is over six minutes in length. Slow, calm guitars take the lead at first. The song title says it all. This is pure despondence mixed with rage in the vocals. “Chthonic Trinity” begins with mighty guitar notes, and a sense of grandeur. The layering here is once again underscored. It might be three or four different guitar notes mixing in together. It ends on a charming bed of piano notes. “Descent into Ruin” is a shorter song, beginning with doleful clean guitars. Some more guitars and keys mix in, adding melodic but sad layers to the instrumental. Ovfrost really shows some strong songwriting skills with this piece.

“Between the Worlds” closes the album, at six-and-a-half-minutes in length. Opening with clear guitars and some keyboards for texture, it moves slowly, allowing the feeling of nothingness to seep in. As the story ends, it ends badly for the servant. Overall, this was a good album. They layers are key to much of the sound here, as well as the additions of piano and keyboards. It’s just enough to flavor the album, but a little more could have really elevated the album. I appreciate this kind of inventive Black Metal so much more than the traditional sounds of the FWOBM. You can really feel the storyline described above reflected in the music. But death is only just the beginning, they say.

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

3 Star Rating

1. Remaining Light
2. Satellite
3. Timeless Torch
4. A Way through Limbo
5. Lifeless Ease of Nonbeing
6. Chthonic Trinity
7. Descent into Ruin
8. Between the Worlds
Ovfrost – Everything
Record Label: Northern Silence Productions


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Edited 31 January 2023

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