The Pitch: Founded in 2015 by two women, vocalist/guitarist Obscura and drummer T. Kolsvart, Asagraum is a black metal entity that promises to be “both unapologetically modern and authentically '90s.” FFO: Blaze of Perdition, Mephorash, Pale Chalice
What I Like: All of the benchmarks set by the 2nd wave forerunners are in full swing on Potestas Magicum Diaboli. The vocals are shrill, grim, and vile; calling all the way back to the icy venom of early Enslaved and Emperor. And speaking of ice, the riffs are equally bitter cold. The blairing distortion of the guitar leads paired with the echoey production job are a sonic blizzard that leave the ears numb and frostbitten. I'm reflecting back on albums like Frost and At The Heart of Winter, but also more recent works from Pale Chalice, Inquisition, and UADA. Above all else, Asagraum have summoned a highly consistent album in style and tone that will definitely appeal to the longtim black metal fans out there.
Critiques: Asagraum have an above-average handle on black metal ethos, but they never take the next step. Compositions are fairly repetitious and play it safe with a collection of sounds and riffs that can be found on dozens of other similar albums.
The Verdict: While Asagraum doesn't do much to stand out with Potestas Magicum Diaboli, there is certainly enough natural inclination towards ominous atmosphere and ravishing grimness to warrant adding it to your black metal collection. I hope that in the future this duo adds a few more surprises to their strong foundational elements. Get it Friday.
Flight's Fav's: Transformation, Black Sun Prayer, Carried by Lucifer’s Wings
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