I first came across Kosmogyr last June when I was bowled over (and said so) by a song called “Quiescent“, which was the first offering from a promised debut album (it also appeared on several compilations — Crushing Intolerance Vol. 5 by Black Metal Alliance as well as We Are Shanghai Vol. 5). Now, the album has a name — Eviternity — and a concrete release date of March 9th. I’ve had the good fortune to listen to the album (which is fantastic), and it led me to do something I almost never do: I asked the band for the opportunity to premiere a song, and they agreed. What you will now hear is the new album’s title track.
By way of background, Kosmogyr is the name of a black metal band consisting of Shanghai native Xander Cheng (The Arcbane) and Ivan Belcic, formerly of Shanghai’s The Machinery of Other Skeletons and Death to Giants. Ivan now lives in Prague, but he and Xander collaborated by long-distance to record the album. And that collaboration has borne amazing fruit.
I would have a difficult time picking a favorite song from Eviternity, but the title track is certainly a strong contender. In a nutshell, it’s enormously captivating — music that’s bleak and heavy as hell, but so grand that it swells the heart like a balloon.
From the very first moments the track’s immense, sludgy bass presence, methodically plundering drumwork, and vibrating guitar melody seizes attention. The rhythm shifts into a gallop as the flesh-rending vocals appear, and the music seems to mount toward even higher planes of fearsome majesty. As the moments pass, Kosmogyr work in variations on that central melody (including harmonized guitar parts), and by the end it has been driven so deeply into the listener’s head that it sticks there like a spike.
The music’s intensity abates only briefly in the mid-section, as the pace slows and an almost lilting guitar motif adds to the mesmerizing quality of the interlude, and when the music’s energy surges again, the song soars like a great raptor in flight.
Perhaps you can tell that I get carried away by the song… and that happens every time I hear it. But it’s not an outlier. As mentioned earlier, the whole album is marvelous… and to get a sense of its consistent quality, you should also check out that track that debuted last year. As I wrote then, “Quiescent” is a multifaceted piece, beautiful and meditative at the beginning but soon scathing and vicious. There’s a heavy undercurrent in the music, and a furious drum track to drive it ahead with headlong abandon. The writhing and ripping riffs are themselves heavy and ferocious in their buzzing intensity, while the vocals are (again) absolutely scorching.
However, unchained ferocity is not all the song transmits. A haunting melody floats, flickers, and soars above the conflagration, and an especially catchy riff arrives after a slower interlude. As the power of the song reaches into the red zone again, all the ingredients come together in a striking crescendo.
Eviternity is now available for pre-order on Kosmogyr’s Bandcamp page: