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Rift – To Quench The Thirst of Wolves Award winner

To Quench The Thirst of Wolves
by Ben Gardiner at 07 February 2022, 9:58 PM

RIFT is the atmospheric Black Metal lovechild of Balam – of PESTILIENTIAL SHADOWS fame – and A.S of ORDER OF ORIAS. Originating in 2006, Balam released the ep Eyes of the Basilisk, a sludgy, raw and ferocious endeavour. Just a year after this, "To Quench the Thirst of Wolves" was written and recorded in 2007, but release was subdued until vocals were added in 2021. It’s not often that an album lays in waiting for nearly 15 years, which goes to show the dedication and patience for this project and the lengths one’ll go to realise their vision.

The Coffins” makes for an excellent intro track, offering a clear atmosphere through the fuzzy hypnotic guitar melody that repeats with the occasional differing, lulling you into the dark world of mysticism in the album. Seamlessly transitioning into the second track, “Acolyte of Worms” retains the murky fuzz whilst adding drums and shifting melodies, as well as the coarse vocals of A.S. the drums serve the guitars well with an array of classic Black metal blasts and beats, the fuzzy reverb gives them a nice sound. The guitar track switches between tremolo, deep tones and slow, higher pitched and sombre riffs.  The final section of the track offers some powerful guitar strumming and a more ferocious vocal performance, they’ve taken the feeling of sobering melancholy of the first half of the song and ramped it up into a hard hitting, uplifting finale.

The titular track is a grandiose poem of swirling melodies, taking the raw atmosphere and turning the scale up to epic, stretching out before you like a grey beach disappearing into the fog, no longer does it feel like the work of two men but there is an operatic chorus of moving parts that operate smoothly, the guitar dancing with the drums in perfect cohesiveness, the strings acting out their sad tale whilst the angelic vocal chorus simmers, the beauty of knowing the music could transform back into the dissonant monster at any time and savouring the moments of tranquillity.

Everything feeling impossibly large, the murky layer of reverb that swallows all it touches, the mighty guitar melodies and of course the passionate, captivating vocal performance all make this album the fantastic ride it is. Beauty mixes with aggression mixes with sadness, both raw and refined, suffocating and expansive all at once. "To Quench The Thirst of Wolves" is a gripping atmospheric, melodic Black Metal endeavour of epic proportions.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Coffins
2. Acolyte of Worms
3. Night Glare
4. To Quench The Thirst Of Wolves
5. Innards Of Malevolence
6. Graven Solace
7. Sermon Of Blades
8. Posthumous Rapture
9. Moon
Balam – instrumental
A.S – Vocals
Record Label: Séance Records


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