Written by: Kev Rowland
The Konsortium are back seven years after the debut with the follow-up, and this time they are letting people know who is involved, and given the quality of the music it probably isn’t a surprise to anyone that there are a few well-known musicians in here. F.G. Gugelli (vocals, guitars) is joined by bassist Teloch (Mayhem, ex-Orcustus, ex-Gorgoroth, ex-1349) and drummer Dirge Rep (Orcustus, ex-Enslaved, ex-Aura Noir), together with T. Jacobsen and B. Waldejer (both on guitars). Rep is quoted as saying “It’s the most technical and demanding album of my somewhat 25 years under Black Metal. I am extremely grateful for the honor of performing under The Konsortium and dedicated myself in entirety to the excellence of the work, its will and its energy”. Certainly, it isn’t possible to under-estimate the impact he has one the overall sound as while the guitars are riffing, soloing and intertwining at the front, it often appears that Rep is driving the band forward on his own in some style.
Musically it is running through the gamut of Black Metal styles, and while they may never drift into the New Age stylings of some, there is plenty of emotion and atmosphere throughout. They do keep somewhat of a lid on the brutality, but it is never far away, almost as if the guard is let down for a second then raw and early Darkthrone would rise up. Something I did find really interesting with the album is at the end of each song there is a very quiet soundscape, which could be birds singing or ambient noise, and this resets the ears in readiness for the next onslaught. We have raw lead vocals combining with Gregorian, and it definitely feels that by the end of the album the listener has been taken on quite a journey through the genre. This is definitely not a band that have taken a small style and kept with it, but instead have spread their wings to create an album which is incredibly diverse and full of interest. Those into this genre really need to seek this one out.