(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Swedish band Mephorash, which will be released by Shadow Records on April 18th.)
Black Metal, as we all know, contains multitudes. And within these multitudes it also contains (and practically revels in) a multitude of contradictions.
For instance, despite the genre’s seemingly endless (and not entirely unjustified) fixation on issues of authenticity and artistic purity, it’s also one of the most image-obsessed styles of Metal in existence.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. In fact I have a lot of respect for those bands who go to the extra effort of ensuring that their visual aesthetic – from their album art, to their promo shots, to their stage get-up – both reflects and complements their musical identity.
Oh, I’ve definitely seen it go very wrong in the past… just throwing on some cheap robes you bought off Amazon doesn’t suddenly make you more “occult”, and no amount of corpse-paint is ever going to make someone like Carach Angren look or sound any less embarrassing… but those bands who really go the extra mile, bands like Mephorash, who match their appearance to their art in every possible aspect, truly offer something a cut above the standard Black Metal experience.