Wednesday 27 January 2016

Black Twilight Circle: Volahn, Shataan, Arizmenda, Kallathon - Desert Dances And Serpent Sermons


1. Volahn - Chamalcan
2. Shataan - Caminando Del Destino/Desert Smoke/Wells Run Dry
3. Arizmenda - Ropeburn Mutilation On The Outskirts Of Life
4. Kallathon - Falling Into The Horizon, Burning Into The Black Twilight

Amongst the most secretive of musical beings within extreme metal is the US Black metal collective known as - The Black Twilight Circle. The circle is made of bands from California that maintains a high level of cooperation but also anonymity, releasing their music via Crepusculo Negro and other like-minded labels. This latest release features contributions by Volahn, Shataan, Arizmenda & Kallathon. It is due for release towards the end of February via Iron Bonehead Productions, The Ajna Offensive and has previously been released on tape via Crepusculo Negro.

This release fills me with intrigue because it’s the first time I’ve laid ears on the Black Twilight Circle. It’s Volahn that greets me initially with the track Chamalcan. Following an extended and entertaining intro of Western-style guitar, Volahn settles into some ravaging and marauding black metal. The percussive blasts and deep growls are joined by extremely creative guitar, which adds a lot of originality to the music. It may still be hateful and dark, but it’s also exciting to listen to. Following on from Volahn’s Western-theme, there’s an indigenous feel to Shataan’s contribution. Split into three movements, Caminando Del Destino/Desert Smoke/Wells Run Dry conjures up images of tribal camp fires and ancient peoples. Shataan uses authentic instruments and mixes them in with the band’s black metal backbone. It’s not as heavy as the record’s opener but then again, you don’t need it to be. It’s supposed to be enjoyed for what it is. It has a slight punk edge to it, with the semi-clean vocals and up-tempo feel. Arizmenda follows almost immediately with a menacing choral intro to Ropeburn Mutilation On The Outskirts Of Life. This time though, the music is most definitely more grim and hellish (in  a good way). The high-pitched screams that sit deep inside the music are maddening while the instrumentation and production of the song contains the archetypal rawness of the genre. There is enough melody present though to guide you through it’s 9+ minutes. I guess I’m trying to say that the song is as brutal as it’s title suggests. The final contribution to Desert Dances And Serpent Sermons comes from Kallathon. Falling Into The Horizon, Burning Into The Black Twilight allows the BTC to paint one final bleak but memorable image onto your psyche. Like their brethren, Kallathon’s creativity and drive to bring something different to black metal helps them stand out. There no notion that any band here is merely just going through the motions. US black metal may come in many forms but it’s in perfectly safe hands with the Black Twilight Circle. 

You can stream Desert Dances & Serpent Sermons here:-

Purchase or pre-order copies from the links below:-

Crepusculo Negro Store -
The Ajna Offensive Store -
Iron Bonehead Productions Store -

The Black Twilight Circle:Crepusculo Negro Facebook -ǂ-Crepusculo-Negro
Volahn Facebook -
Shataan Facebook -
Arizmenda Facebook -
The Ajna Offensive Facebook -
Iron Bonehead Productions Facebook -

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