Myrk of esteem…
French black metal legionnaires Myrkvid release their new album via Immortal Frost Productions on June 25, 2018. Paul Castles goes in search of a few Demons.
Myrkvid have never attempted to hide from their tangled black metal roots and influences. They don’t so much as wear it on their sleeve as on their corpsepaint-caked faces. The title of their debut EP eight years ago, Satanic Inquisition, further suggests that you’re unlikely to bump into this bunch at your local church on a Sunday morning.
But if the aesthetics of Myrkvid are resolutely and defiantly old school, the music is sufficiently charged to hook you in to their squalid subterranean encampment. Demons Are Inside is the latest release from the French trio. It features six tracks squeezed onto a 25-minute EP and builds on the firm foundations laid down with their well named debut album Pleasures of Hell in 2014.
‘Wish You Were Hell’ takes off with a raging riff that sustains an extended intro until the vocal bark of Myrk explodes on the scene. Easing off into a mid-tempo groove, the mood is certainly dark alright although the momentum building riff keeps hopes high. There’s time for a mid-track instrumental break which is handled very well as Myrkvid show they’re not afraid to create rhythmic patterns of their own.
On ‘Serpent’s Tongue’ Myrkvid once more peel back some infectious riffage over which Myrk’s death squalls compete for oxygen. The drums are heavy but not overbearing and the Gallic aggressors maintain a thrusting tempo without ever running down any one-way streets. ‘Attending My Own Funeral’ is far more cheery than its title suggests with a warm well chiseled rhythmic arc, although things do become a bit more frantic the deeper in you go. ‘Deathmarch’ is the longest piece, at just over five minutes, during which time the tempo ranges from the slovenly crawl the title suggests through to serious firestorms in which the drum skins are pushed to the limit.
Penultimate number, and EP title track, ‘Demons Are Inside’ is a brilliantly executed instrumental offering a semblance of calm before the final inferno, a cover of Bathory’s ‘The Return of Darkness and Evil’ delivers the album across the finishing line in particularly combustible fashion. If anything Myrkvid’s take sees them unleash a riff that carries echoes of Metallica too.
Limited to 500 copies on disc, black metal fans won’t be disappointed.
- Wish You Were Hell
- Serpent’s Tongue
- Attending My Own Funeral
- Demons Are Inside
- The Return of Darkness and Evil