Almyrkvi / The Ruins Of Beverast – Split CD / LP (Ván Records)
Battle Helm Rating
When worlds collide! Almyrkvi are an Icelandic atmospheric black metal duo with a prior EP and full-length release to their name. The Ruins Of Beverast is the atmospheric black / doom brainchild of one Alexander von Meilenwald, with no less than 5 full length albums under his multi-instrumentalist belt. With both bands being no strangers to split releases, this exquisite 4 tracker sees both at their finest with 2 songs a piece that will definitely not disappoint! Like a titanic sea battle, Almyrkvi open up first with the 10 minute ‘Asomatous Grove’, a dark enshrouding wall of noise made up of dense guitars and massive, atmospheric keyboards brilliantly offset by flowing melodies, ambient interludes and primordial roars as if from the very bowels of the planet itself. With even more cataclysmic effect and a sense of apocalyptic urgency in the droning riffs making up ‘Managarmr’, expect a captivating and eclectic mix of trance inducing melodies and stifling darkness ever increasing in mind-bending ferocity. Arriving no less intensely, The Ruins Of Beverast match Almyrkvi with their own 12 minute colossus of ‘The Grand Nebula Pulse’, a veritable mass of trippy atmospheric black / doom resplendent with chiming occult melodies, somber chanting choirs and an abyssal atmosphere attesting to the genius of von Meilenwald in going beyond haunting trance to outrightly possessive. Closing with the harsher ‘Hunters’ with its fast slide riffing, drum rolls and muffled screaming, not even the momentary, if creepy, solace of wailing background choirs can lift the smog heavy darkness where even the blast beating struggles to pierce through! As mesmerising as the cosmos itself, and undeniably crushing like a black hole.