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Oppressive Descent - Spite Is My Scepter, Blood Is My Crown

Oppressive Descent
Spite Is My Scepter, Blood Is My Crown
by Andrew Harvey at 31 October 2022, 6:12 AM

A one man band or solo project is a black metal musician known as GROND NEFARIOUS plays all instruments or at least that is what we know, we don’t specifically know if all instruments are played or maybe programmed in some way. Nevertheless no matter what mix of instruments there are, what is clear is that this one man band has been active since 2008. In the years of 2017 - 2021, OPPRESSIVE DESCENT have had two compilation albums, seven EP’s and four split compilations too. They have also now released three studio albums in 2016 with DEATH WAS THE ONLY PATH, then in 2020 was ALCHEMY AND WAR and in 2021 was ASTRAL PROJECTIONS FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE. This one man solo project has now come out of the darkness with a consecutive third album in three years.

They now give us their next instalment which is titled SPITE IS MY SCEPTER, BLOOD IS MY CROWN. Released through Inferna Profundus Records, it can be described as ‘eight new hymns of grim hostility, longing for the cold reaches of eternity and the grisly battles of the past’. The album opens with “Impasse” as there is a horrifying intro for a minute with organ creating the occult mood as the nightmare screams echo on throughout. What such commotion and cries as we go into “Our Standards Wave Unscathed” as conflicting instrumentation go absolutely nuts with hints of vocals, guitar and drums. Drums can project with cymbal hits and vocals also cut through with gnashing teeth as their bark isn’t as worse as their bite. The madness of this loud, ridiculously, haunting black metal tone is just cunning but simple perhaps.

High end metallic sounds continue on into the next track “Spite Is My Scepter, Blood Is My Crown” as the deafening crash of full blown mania is present. The mood and tone is mellow mostly but electric guitar does change the course of this track as it varies a little in pitch. Electric guitar changes the sound and overall mix as we head into the next track. “Limbs Strewn Across The Battered Snow” lets loose the electric guitar for its usual tonality and vocals also being a force to be reckoned with. All instrumentation presents itself in its mysterious and monotonous clanging or crashing, as we go into “Victorious Funeral”. Drums are thrashing as they crack the whip to encourage other instruments to strike down with one or two slight pauses. Drums also change time signatures or become less heavy with a more simpler backbeat. Vocals also take a break later on in the track and take one last breath going into the next track.

“Gates Of Bitterness” vocals are just as aggressive as before with drums stamping down more contributing that everlasting clatter of metallic textures. The pressure and tenacity is on track as we go into “As Gathering Clouds Reject The Light” where we hear more mellow and somber electric guitar. There are good signs here of guitar playing more uplifting notation as cymbal hits accent these. This is definitely one of the more appealing tracks, the variety in tempo and pitch aside from tone as well. “Eternal Luciferian Stronghold” simply follows in the same direction as most of the album does, riveting guitars and tremendous drumming that is sick yet well suited to the black metal vibe.

This is even more projection from drums and focus too as guitar escalates in tempo and plays those punchy notes when it is required. The final phase of play is just extreme but not very dark, maybe more higher than mid range frequencies than before with guitars. Overall the album is very much of the true black metal mix and themes which the creator GROND NEFARIOUS does well to focus the listener on gloomy tones. Vocals are just gut wrenching and the drums keep up the momentum with blistering yet pulsating guitar riffs one or two tracks do stand out but the rest certainly keep to themes of depression, suicide, loss and death. We will see if they can produce a follow up, they have been around for years so plenty of time for new music.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

'1. Impasse
2. Our Standards Wave Unscathed
3. Spite Is My Scepter, Blood Is My Crown
4. Limbs Strewn Across The Battered Snow
5. Victorious Funeral
6. Gates Of Bitterness
7. As Gathering Clouds Reject The Light
8. Eternal Luciferian Stronghold
Matt “Grond Nefarious” Schulte - Everything
Record Label: Inferna Profundus


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