Written by: Blackie Skulless
Rising from Chile, a place where gritty thrash has made a solid mark, Oldeath came out of the woods with a rather impressive dose of black metal. After one demo in 2019, they summoned forth a full-length last year entitled Rise From Majestic Darkness. For folks who prefer the riff-y side of black metal rather than the atmospheric or symphonic side, this is gonna sit well with you. Clearly the thrashy surroundings have rubbed off on our guys here.
Worry not, because these riffs have a rusty and grating coat on them that would infect the wounds of anyone who comes near. There’s a droning sensation pulling forth the aesthetic to very blackened heights. The moments when higher solos peak, it forces them to have a nastier bite. Moreover, mixing in hazy church organs adds layers of darker times, casting haunting chills into the bones.
The places where Oldeath knocks it out the best are when the burning rhythms take slower breaks preceding a moment that isn’t afraid of wearing a bit of speed metal on its sleeve. “Necromantic Nightmares” is a wonderful example of this, showering both sides of it in blasting drums for maximum effect. “Deserved Misery” brings this up a notch by throwing in cleaner licks to change the mood, ultimately dragging things into devastating depths.
But of course, Rise From Majestic Darkness excels at the straightforward bangers under a dark umbrella as well. “Winds Of Funeral” is a straightforward head-hitter that has some really memorable passages, and a solid note to bring to the start. I will admit, there are times when switching between tracks feels a bit drastic, but at least they stuck the longest and most jarring songs on the back half. Closer “Destroyers Of The Holy Trinity” is a long and ferocious ball of blasphemy. I also love how much the layers can be peeled back in “Bizarre Existence,” capitalizing on these guys’ playing abilities.
For someone who's relatively new to black metal, this cassette absolutely knocked my socks off. Vocally and rhythmically, this is impressive even before you bring in the memorability. There are some serious chops afoot, and the fact that something so grating had parts that were so catchy was a pleasant surprise.
Oldeath - Rise From Majestic Darkness was released Nov. 11th, 2020 via Oratorium Records
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!