Taggarik / Circle of Salt
(Eternal Death)

Formed from members of Spectral Wound, this split collects two songs from Canadian black metal acts Taggarik and Circle of Salt. Both would equally be considered atmospheric and minimalist in that sense, so you should already know what you’re getting here. There’s an obvious grain to the production value in Taggarik’s “Stalwarts Of Suffering” but such grain seems reinforced by the amount of blistering blast beats apparent on a track that also contains some rather captivating, Krallice style melodic leads. There are also some pretty thumpy doom portions at play here, so you’re getting a very good appetizer for what this band can accomplish. When we get to “Ulfserkir” from Circle of Salt, we’re thrust almost right into the center of the Norwegian winter frosts, and that’s a very good thing. Again, they’ve delivered a very minimalist approach to the genre and such a song feels like it belongs right with the opener, so you’re getting what feels like a very cohesive and memorable approach from both acts. The vocals present in Circle of Salt are even more harsh, with tremolos that feel even more threatening than the ones in the previous number as well. I’m not saying that Circle of Salt are better, but they certainly have a bit of an upper hand compared to Taggarik. There’s even an unexpected groove section that comes into play, which really allows the vocals to come roaring down upon your conscience with the hefty weight of a sledgehammer. Slight keyboard manifestations are also utilized, so there’s a bit of a mystical tone to the whole thing, delivering wholly an approach that I feel is the very definition of great black metal in this modern era. Like Taggarik, the production is also a bit grainy, but it is audible. I feel that such a fine attention to detail only makes the track stand out even more in retrospect. Rest assured, fans of atmospheres and minimalist black metal should not be upset with this one, and it would absolutely have me dumbfounded if they were. This one is strictly for the hordes. (The Grim Lord)

Purchase the split here.


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