Title: Dawn of Infinite Fire
Label: Edged Circle Productions
Release date: 13 September 2019
Format reviewed: High-Quality Digital Promo & Vinyl version
“In Nomine Sathanas!”
In 2017, Netherlands-based black metal band ASAGRAUM appeared in the scene with a bang, releasing their debut full-length “Potestas Magicum Diaboli”, now it is two years later and the all-female project around vocalist Obscura returns with its sophomore release!
I remember a friend telling me about this new black metal band, “they have an upcoming album and it is an all-female band”. My interest was sparked and I checked the single for the album, “Abomination’s Altar”. While the premise of the band being made up of only females was my first reason to check it out, it was the music that in the end stuck with me. What I want to say with this, is that ASAGRAUM does not need to support itself on this premise, because the music itself is extremely solid!
“Dawn of Infinite Fire” is a demonstration of how the band has understood the essence of black metal and has then melted it into their own, recognizable sound that still is very trve to the genre’s roots. From the album opener “They Crawl from the Broken Circle”, it is very clear that ASAGRAUM set out to make a record reminiscent of the second wave, something traditional. Yet, in this age of increasingly experimental black metal (taking into account post-black metal and such subgenres), it is surprisingly refreshing to see an album focus on the core of the genre!
The album honors its title and hellish cover art with musicianship to back it! While oftentimes black metal is rather cold in sound, this album is quite infernal and diabolical: Fast tremolos with occasionally more melodic guitar work mixed in, quite compelling bass lines and very precise, yet chaotic sounding drumwork by “A.”, further enhanced with Obscuras very well delivered vocals! Overall, “Dawn of Infinite Fire” is an improvement over the debut full-length, the production is better, which does not mean that it is a clean production, but rather that it has been refined, everything makes a bit more sense and is a greater pleasure to hear. Also, the album is more cohesive and the tracks flow into one another fluidly.
If you are a fan of classic black metal, evocative of the 90’s second wave with a modern approach, this album is definitely for you!
While I really like the record, a bit more experimentation with the clean vocals that are used sparingly on the album closer “Waar ik ben komt de dood” (“Where I am, comes death”) or overall some more variety could have improved it even more! Still, on their new release ASAGRAUM paint an unholy picture of the torment that awaits the souls that go to hell, an infernal place of suffering that will last eternally and you as the listener can experience it through the fast riffing and intense instrumentation that the band brings to the table! The standout tracks for me are the before mentioned single, closely followed by “Beyond the Black Vortex” and the title track, although every track on the album has at least one or more redeeming qualities. This record is a must-listen for fans of black metal, you shouldn’t expect something that reinvents the wheel though, but as I said before, it does not have to do this to be good! 8.5/10 the trve Medvson
8.5/10 To Greatness and Glory!
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