Crom Dubh – “Heimweh” (Ván Records)
British Black Metal has taken its time in getting there. However, Crom Dubh are something else. Taking their name from the mythological Irish deity, located in London, titling this debut from the German for ‘homesickness’ and based on a concept that runs parallel to Hesiod’s Five Ages Of Man, you’d be forgiven for wondering just what these guys are all about. Well, their music is no less enigmatic, although there is no doubt that its sent by the gods themselves, hence why they are fast becoming one of the most talked about bands in Europe. Post Black? Pagan Black? Ancient Black? Shoegaze Black?! Don’t even try to work it out when you’ve got lyrics written in Old English, Old Norse, and Medieval Latin drawn from Roman Imperial History mixed with the poetry of Yeats, Emily Dickinson and Irving Layton! One thing is for sure: prepare yourself for a spiritual awakening as the pagan beast rises amidst the clash of civilizations the world over as you wonder if the gods have deserted us – or we them – on emotionally charged epics like ‘Sailing To Byzantium’, ‘The Invulnerable Tide’ and ‘Sedition’. Rooted in M. Beonetleah’s guitars and S. O’Fairdehaigh’s bass, this is beyond deep, but delving into your very psyche and your emotional state with cascading walls of dark intensity drawn from the bowels of the earth, illuminating melody from all corners of the globe and a liberation of the inner pagan spirit that resides in us all. Without a doubt one of the most beautiful albums I’ve been awoken by, I found the 9 tracks on “Heimweh” nothing short of mesmerizing, evoking thoughts of loss, exile, nostalgia thinking of the journey home and ultimately, death itself. Amidst the glass and steel, the politics and pretension, the greed and soullessness, Crom Dubh have risen from within the belly of this cruel, corrupt city to reach out their hand in epic grandeur to beckon you on a journey that will change your perspective on life – forever.