Blutvial – Curses Thorns Blood

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Review by Jason Guest

Mordgrimm Records

An unholy alliance forged by guitarist / bassist / drummer Aort (once of avant-garde black metallers Code and death/doom band Indesinence) and multi-instrumentalist Ewchymlaen, their début ‘I Speak Of The Devil’ drew from the very depths of all kinds of filth such as 90s black metal, D-beat and doom for its putrid ferocity. Assailing us with eight primitively-charged and unremittingly violent tracks, Blutvial have returned with their sophomore release, Curses Thorns Blood, an album that sees the band’s malice matched only by their musicianship, both of which have increased tenfold.

With Ewchymlaen’s increasingly demented and raw vocals bleeding through a mass of distortion while the savage tremolo-picked guitars and Zemogh’s damaging drums are like a brick wall to the face, Jaime Gomez Arellano’s outstanding production ensures that every serrated edge of the album hacks through the flesh and deep into the bone. From the dark and brooding intro of ‘Conspiracy Of Optimism’ to the up-tempo ferocity and hard-hitting sludge/doom grooves of ‘Tirade Against Oversocialisation’, Blutvial’s menace is immense. Pushing the listener even deeper into abhorrence, agony, and aggression, the last three tracks, ranging between seven and ten minutes, test both the band’s and the listener’s mettle. Though uncompromisingly aggressive, these tracks are where the bands flaws are more apparent as they tend to drag here and there, the momentum established in the first half of the album waning a little. Yet the nine minute apocalyptic doom of ‘Wethered And Broken-Mouthed’ is a dirge of such might that at the album’s close, all that remains is to collapse into a heap, stunned, stupefied and inexplicably exhilarated by the last fifty minutes of filthy black metal. Like being attacked by a bunch of hyperactive zombies on amphetamines, their grip like manacles, their bites like vices, their persistence feral, the barbarous thrash and the relentless galloping might of the album is an unstoppable black metal blitzkrieg. Despite its few imperfections, Blutvial’s sophomore album is a blackly majestic and ambitious slab of well-executed black metal filth that is definitely worth your time.

7.5 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. At The Stones We Gather
  2. Blackthorn Winter
  3. The Immutable Hammer
  4. Conspiracy Of Optimism
  5. Tirade Against Oversocialisation
  6. Three Curses
  7. A Light In The Forest
  8. Wethered And Broken-Mouthed