(We welcome guest writer Nick Awad, who shares his review of a 2020 black metal split release among Hajduk, Akantha, Nimbifer, and Sørgelig that deserves more attention.)
Though the style of Raw Black Metal is not particularly new, it is currently having a moment. These days, countless bands are emerging from the shadows with ominous promo photos, grainy audio production, and fast-selling physical releases. Depending on who you ask, this is either a golden age or the dumbest thing since the recent OSDM revival. As with most things, there is some validity to either stance. For every worthwhile Raw Black Metal project, there are about a hundred duds. Duds that may check plenty of the grim aesthetic boxes, but offer no real substance. That being said, those aforementioned worthwhile projects are absolute gold. Among those praiseworthy projects is a split released in the late summer of 2020.
Ruins of Humanity is a four-way split full of vicious songwriting and macabre ecstasy. The bands on the release; Hajduk (Bulgaria), Akantha (Greece), Nimbifer (Germany), and Sørgelig (Greece); prove themselves to be an arterial cut above the endless menagerie of aesthetic-obsessed internet vampires. Though the songs on this split do nod to the ideas that precede them, they are far from the soulless riff recitations of a “worship-style” project. They represent a culmination of traditions coupled with modern influence that does not stray from the necessary orthodoxy of the craft of Black Metal.