Album Title: To Consume the Darkness Whole
Label: Graveless Slumber
This is the first full-length album from Volkeinblucht, an American one-man band playing raw, repetitive black metal.
Middle-period Darkthrone is the obvious influence here, Transylvanian Hunger in particular. Each song is built from layered, repetitive guitar lines, with utilitarian drum machine tracks and cold, snarled vocals. The guitar sound is a balance between obscurity and clarity. Riffs seem to emerge from the morass of sound, only to return to it a moment later, cycling as the guitar line continues. The drum machine is rather nondescript, but that doesn't really distract much from this style of metal. "Hatred of the Ancients" features some interesting vocal effects, but I'm more impressed by the raw vocals. They really add to the impact of these songs, and show just enough range to keep things interesting. The production is just about perfect - it showcases the guitar, while keeping the drum machine from becoming too overwhelming.
The songwriting on "To Consume the Darkness Whole" is solid. These songs are repetitive, as suits their style, but each song is packed with variations on its theme, and the themes themselves are excellent. They range from aggressive, as on "Torturous Onslaught", to complex and chaotic, as on "Grim Finality", but never stoop to directionless noisemaking. The songs have plenty of flow, both internally and as an album, with just a single awkward transition at the end of "Torturous Onslaught".
"To Consume the Darkness Whole" is quality black metal, especially for a first release. The memorable guitar lines and strong vocals help elevate this one above the crowd. Fans of this style should hear Volkeinblucht. Recommended.
Standout Tracks: "Eternal Fallicy" (sic), "Torturous Onslaught", "The Crimson Hunt"