(Andy Synn steps up once more to recommend the brand new album from Gravenchalice)
It is a simple and well-known truth that the House of Black Metal has many rooms, many hallways.
And which path you choose to follow, which doors you choose to open, will dictate whether or not you end up going deeper into the dark, or coming out the other side.
It is also true that many, if not most, of these pathways have been well-worn by the passing of countless feet over the years, such that, whichever way you choose to turn, it is difficult not to find yourself walking in the footsteps of those who have gone before you.
This was clear enough on last year’s Apparition, the short-but-striking debut from Florida’s Gravenchalice, whose blend of hypnotic riffs and pulse-raising rhythms was reminiscent – in the best possible way – of some of the best work of Mgla, Misþyrming, and their ilk.
But with Samael, the group’s second album in just over a year, Gravenchalice have clearly – whether by accident or design – stepped away from the route they were following on their first record and have found themselves walking a much darker, and less-trodden, path.