Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Kerbenok - O (2008)
For this debut, Germany's Kerbenok manage to conjure an instrospective brand of raw pagan black metal with some curious composition, glorious and rather unique riffing. I was transfixed throughout the 10 tracks.
"Aus Der Stille" is an instrumental which opens in a chiming, natural environment, before the driving black metal mayhem enters. "Heimstatt in Trummern" is a classy, slower piece with some eerie guitars and black German snarls, occasionally picking up the pace for some melodic yet primal blasting. "Die Schwere unserer Glieder" is a mix of some thrashing black riffs of scintillating discord with glorious guitar melodies. "In Kreise Ziehen wir Unsere Runden" is an epic, 12 minutes of brilliant folkish metal with a myriad of evoked atmosphere. This is perhaps the crowning piece of the album, but by no means solitary. There are other impressive tracks to come like "Frihet er Vaares" and the quite trippy "Hardangervidda".
Some would probably consider this album 'underproduced', but it really suits the style well, giving off this trippy but live atmosphere. And this sounds like something amazing you'd want to see live...to experience. Vocals are a mix of black rasp and some folkish wails.
If there is a justice in the realm of black metal, Kerberok should see their star rising, because they have created a somber and delightful attention grabber on their debut, gracefully striding the margin between savage and raw, kvlt black metal, gorgeous folk and glorious melodic riffing. I was quite impressed since this is my first exposure to the band, and look forward to hearing more! If you value quality black metal, and you enjoy a pagan/folk edge that isn't silly or ham-fisted, then you cannot do wrong here. Grim and beautiful.
Verdict: Epic Win [9/10]