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Album Of The Month December 2007
Crest Of Darkness | ‘Give Us The Power To Do Your Evil’

As the opening few moments of ‘Antichrist’ fire up, one distinctly feels that tingling excitement and electricity in the stomach. For it’s obvious from the outset that this is going to be one heck of a ride down the crooked crevasse of dark extreme metal. Six releases on and Norway’s Crest of Darkness are still churning out this kind of music in all its splendour or its spite, depending on your perspective.

With the onset of technology sterilizing the majority of new releases ad infinitum (even the ones within this fastidious genre) it is heartening to hear a warm and organic sound suite behind them which carries the message to the fore with that little bit of extra character and equivalence. Certainly not easily digestible by any means, it’s very much assured, and within minutes stirs up a great deal of emotion.

For at times this seems like a grim soundtrack to a world steeped in depravity which does make sense after all given that Ingar, the brains of the operation, is a devout Satanist and vampirism enthusiast. That might sound a little ridiculous given extreme metal’s already shaky reputation with theatrics and ideology but don’t fret. For sonically, this record delivers in spades and any anticipated pretentiousness, especially when it comes to the lyrical implication, shouldn’t even register unless one goes digging for it specifically.

It’s more or less in the vein of similar recent efforts from Deathspell Omega which eschew the pseudo feelgood factors such as bleak image, evilness and packaging and instead sways one to the detail of what’s actually in the bottle. ‘Druj Nasu’ for a start is an absolute gem of a track, showcasing a towering display of black thrash rudiments and disquieting atmospherics. And if that weren’t enough proof that the band comes down the right side of the sanity fence, there’s more to be found over the course of these eleven tracks.

Ferocious guitars, tasteful soloing, blasts and demonic vocals all work together to deliver a warped incarnation of a very dark and disturbing force. Buy it. Stick it on your mp3 player or whatever and try not to grin as you listen to it on your way to work. Watch the sad people listening to the banal radio chatter and be happy there’s music still being created like this.

4.2 / 5 – David McCann ::: 18/12/07

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